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Gmail to go offline

tech reviews Updated: Jan 29, 2009 16:34 IST

The news that Hindustan Times broke one-and-a-half years ago is finally turning into a reality. The most commonly used email and messenger service of Gmail will go offline soon. Don't worry you will still be able to use it and the online version too is not going to go anywhere. Is Gmail getting offline?: Hindustan Times

The gaint Google is experimenting with this new concept from quite a long time now, but now by just changing few setting of your Gmail account you can use it offline.

According to a blog post by a Gmail engineer, Andy Palay, "Today we're starting to roll out an experimental feature in Gmail Labs that should help fill in those gaps: offline Gmail. So even if you're offline, you can open your web browser, go to, and get to your mail just like you're used to."

Once you turn on this feature, Gmail uses Gears to download a local cache of your mail. As long as you're connected to the network, that cache is synchronized with Gmail's servers.

When you lose your connection, Gmail automatically switches to offline mode, and uses the data stored on your computer's hard drive instead of the information sent across the network. You can read messages, star and label them, and do all of the things you're used to doing while reading your webmail online.

Any messages you send while offline will be placed in your outbox and automatically sent the next time Gmail detects a connection. And if you're on an unreliable or slow connection (like when you're "borrowing" your neighbor's wireless), you can choose to use "flaky connection mode," which is somewhere in between: it uses the local cache as if you were disconnected, but still synchronizes your mail with the server in the background. Our goal is to provide nearly the same browser-based Gmail experience whether you're using the data cached on your computer or talking directly to the server.

Offline Gmail is still an early experimental feature, so don't be surprised if you run into some kinks that haven't been completely ironed out yet.

Andy Palay has also given the instructions for getting started with this fun box.

Click Settings and click the Labs tab.
Select Enable next to Offline Gmail.
Click Save Changes.
After your browser reloads, you'll see a new "Offline0.1" link in the upper righthand corner of your account, next to your username. Click this link to start the offline set up process and download Gears if you don't already have it.