Today, Google is announcing a new technology called Google Gears. The technology enables web applications to work both online and offline. One of the first applications of Google Gears that I have seen is its integration with Google Reader. Previously, you could only read your feeds while you were online. For those that are constantly on the go and not necessarily connected to the net, there is now a way for viewing all of your feeds while offline. This is a pretty big blow for all the competing feed readers. The number one complaint that I heard from other avid feed reader users was that they couldn’t view their feeds while on a plane. Well soon enough you will be able to.
Similar features will soon be added to Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Spreadsheets, and Google Docs. All I can say is this is a huge step for web applications. This seems to compete directly with Adobe’s much hyped Apollo that also enables both online and offline functionality. Additionally, Google Gears is open source which means developers are free to build applications of their own at no cost (only time). This is a first step toward seamless integration between the online and offline worlds.