It’s always fun to get a sneak peek at what Google has in store for its users, and Tony Ruscoe managed to get a glimpse at a future Google Docs feature. He said that “after playing around with one of Google’s not-so-private experimental sites, I can confirm that offline access is currently being tested.“
The offline access works with Google’s very own Google Gears, and handles itself similarly to Google Reader’s offline access. Tony was only able to view the documents in the document list right now, and got an error message whenever he tried to open one of them for viewing or editing. He was, however, able to successfully rename and star documents which were then synchronized once he reconnected.
Here’s a screenshot from his endeavor:
While it is still pretty rough around the edges it is nice to know that offline access is in the future plans for Google Docs. Assuming that the offline access also provides editing capabilities this could give Google the edge they need to compete with desktop applications.