updated 01:00 pm EDT, Thu May 31, 2007
Google tries offline apps
Google has used its 2007 Developer Day event to provide developers with Gears, an open-source means of bringing web applications offline. Programs created with it operate as a browser extension, but store resources locally, enabling weblike functions such as e-mail and photo editing. Applications also treat their content as a relational database, meaning that users can search for material much as they would at Google.com. The company's first example of the technology is Reader, which now allows users to read as many as 2,000 news items away from the website.
Gears development should continue for some time, since Google says it wants more third parties to adopt the standard, among them the creators of the Opera web browser. Another is Adobe, who will be using the Gears API in its Apollo desktop RIA software. Gears is compatible with Mac, Linux and Windows platforms.