Back in May of 2007, Google launched Google Gears which gives offline access to services and applications that are normally only available online. A few services that use Google Gears include Google Reader, Remember the Milk, and Zoho. Thus far it has been very useful for those using supported applications. Now Google Gears is going mobile which means that some services will be available both online and “offline” on your Windows Mobile 5 or 6 devices.
At this point, there are two different companies that have partnered with Google for the launch of Google Gears on Mobile devices, and they are Zoho and Buxfer. If you’ve been reading CyberNet, you’re probably already familiar with Zoho, the online office suite. Buxfer though is a service we haven’t talked about yet. It helps you keep track of your money online, and in many ways, it reminds me of Mint because you can enter in all of your transactions and then it categorizes your purchases into categories, among other things. That means that you can view documents with Zoho Writer and view your finances on your mobile device, with or without an Internet connection, all thanks to Google Gears.
The process of going offline is very simple. If you’re using Zoho Writer for example, it just takes one click. The very first time that you try to go offline, you’ll be prompted to install Google Gears. It’s a quick installation process and once it’s done, then you’ll actually be able to go offline. Using Zoho Mobile, clicking “go offline” will start the synchronization process. Once it’s done, you’re in “offline” mode which means you can view (not edit at this point) your documents. This will be particularly useful if you’re on an airplane or somewhere that doesn’t have an Internet connection. To go back online, once again, it just takes one click.
In the future it would be nice to see Google Gears available on other mobile platforms besides just Windows Mobile 5 or 6. It’ll also be nice once other companies launch a Mobile version of their services with Google Gears. On the Google Code Blog, they say, “We are very excited by the potential here. We expect mobile apps built using Google Gears to usher in a new trend in mobile application development.” There certainly is potential, but let’s just hope that other services take advantage of Google Gears and develop a Mobile version because at this point, they seem to be far and few in between.
Want to see how Google Gears for Mobile Works? View this video: