After conquering the web search engine niche, the big G is now gearing up to conquer its users’ lives even when they are offline. Introducing Google Gears, a web browser extension that will let users work with Google’s various apps offline. And to carry out this plan, Google is even giving third party developers free access to the Google Gear API to enable these developers make their products available online through Google Gear.
For starters, Google is testing its Gears with obviously the right product, Google Reader. To access Google Reader offline, install Google Gear first. Then access your Google Reader and select that green arrow button just beside your gmail account. Google Gear will then start “synchronizing” your Google Reader feeds and prompts you that you can now disconnect from the net and read your Google Reader feeds offline. Ain’t that cool?
Imagine the possibilities if third party developers start making their web applications available offline through Google Gear? If reading feeds offline is not your thing, how about reading your mails?
Of course we can’t discount the fact that Google is moving towards the desktop setup and perhaps give Microsoft’s long time domination of the offline arena a little shake up. But Google’s success would depend on the open source developers’ participation on this open source project. Google could easily make its various apps available through Google Gear. But those apps wouldn’t be enough to sustain users’ interests towards this tool.
Google Gear currently has 3 modules waiting for open source developers to explore them:
Store data locally in a fully-searchable relational database
Make your web applications more responsive by performing resource-intensive operations asynchronously