Jeez, I’ve been waiting a while for this one. And so have many others.
Even though Gmail adoption has been strong to date, it’s had to play catch up to other popular online-only email services like Hotmail and AOL. In part, it’s growth has been hampered by its inability to work offline.
This move essentially takes the shackles off Gmail, giving it the flexibility to match Microsoft’s flagship email service, Outlook — which lets millions of office workers and consumers check their email both online and offline. The big difference: Gmail is free. This is actually a major attack on Microsoft, because it wipes away one of the biggest technical deficiencies remaining in Gmail.
Yahoo Mail, meanwhile, is the world’s leading online email service. Gmail is just a fraction the size of Yahoo Mail, but this move could give people more incentive to switch.
A company spokesperson says users of Google’s business software package Google Apps will also be able to view their Calendar offline sometime in “the next couple of weeks.”
Google also has a short video clip how Offline Gmail should work:
Kudos to Google for finally rolling this out. Looking forward to trying out Offline Gmail/Calendar and seeing them both mature. Also hope Google gets around to adding this feature to Google Docs as well.