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July 17, 2008

Gmail and Google Calendar to Add Offline Support

It seems that this year Google's most popular web applications will work offline. After Google Reader and Google Docs, two other services will integrate with Gears. Andrew Fogg saw a preview of the integration at Google's offices and found that Gmail and Google Calendar will add offline support in approximately 6 weeks.

In the past months, Google accidentally enabled the option in Google Calendar and some users saw the dialog illustrated below: "To view and edit the next 3 months of your Google Calendar when you're not connected to the Internet, click OK."

Screenshot licensed as Creative Commons by NOTICIAS-TIC.

Andrew also found out that Google will add SyncML support for Gmail contacts next month. He thinks this is "related to the sync that they worked on with Apple for 3G iPhone". SyncML is a standard for data synchronization supported by a lot of companies. "SyncML is most commonly thought of as a method to synchronize contact and calendar information between some type of handheld device and a computer (personal, or network-based service), such as between a mobile phone and a personal computer."

Update: Andrew Fogg deleted the tweets referenced in the post, but I have a screenshot.

Another update (Jan. 2009): Much later than expected, Gmail gets offline supports.

47 comments:

  1. This is interesting news.

    Goosync added an option to upgrade memberships from yearly to unlimited (meaning works forever) subscriptions lately. I upgraded, but did think that maybe Goosync knew something about Google I didn't.

    Now this points further in that direction. If Google is going to offer reliable SyncML in the future, Goosync's business will be in trouble.

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  2. So can SyncML keep my GMail contacts in sync with Address Book.app?

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  3. Saw a post in Twitter (twitter.com/KIntheHouse/statuses/860966189) and came to check it out. "Offline support" caught my attention. I would love offline support of Google Docs and Google Calendar.

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  4. My experience of syncml has been mostly that it always works but never works correctly. I've been syncing handsets with my mac for years and have pretty much never had a correct and/or complete sync of my address book...

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  5. Finally, been waiting for offline support of Gmail for a while. Hope they'll add support for Google Apps Gmail quickly as that's what my company needs most of all. I have 4 or 5 years worth of emails in my personal Gmail and a good years worth of email in my Google Apps emails. I suspect they'll initially only allow access to a limited amount of your emails. Probably no access to attachments, or emails older than, say, 180 days or whatever.

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  6. I suppose Gmail doesn't show ads in offline mode. So as long as you sync every half an hour or so, you can have an ad-free Gmail experience for free?

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  7. Well, that is nice to see you add SyncML support for Gmail Contacts, but unless you guys address a more serious issue (1:1 association with contact and email address), Contacts is still a weak contender to other systems. I have lots of contacts where multiple family members (e.g., husband, wife) share same address. Also, companies often have multiple folks using same address (e.g., customerservice@google.com).

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  8. Why is it that every time Google release a new feature, someone comes around and complaints about another one. Hey! This is great news. Gmail is not perfect, but it is getting there.

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  9. Guys,

    Off line mode is something that lot of users will love.

    Out Free MS Outlook integration application KiGoo (www.getkigoo.com) is planed to have it in the near future, also with support for multiple calendars and Google Doc access. All within MS Outlook user interface.

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  10. When will they sync Gmail & Google Notebook?

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  11. They need to introduce syncML for google calendar as well.... I think it's very important

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  12. if they add syncML for Gcal as well, then this is a great step forward for google's mobile business. There's something inherently sketchy about having to go to a third party to sync between your web calendar and phone.

    Especially as some of the sites that do this for free still ask for you gmail username and password.

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  13. "I suppose Gmail doesn't show ads in offline mode. So as long as you sync every half an hour or so, you can have an ad-free Gmail experience for free?"

    or you can use FF and adblock or customizegoogle extension.

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  14. If it's free - then I am not complaining.

    Google is taking over the world.

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  15. this is the killer app...offline gmail would be so sweet, there would be no need for any other email client/service!

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  16. Interesting information, thanks for posting it. We are syncing contacts to Outlook and Windows Mobile using the Google Contact Data API, and the contact API has certainly been in flux. The latest changes by Google for "suggested contacts" will really help syncing contacts cleanly as before the Google contacts were always "too much" with Google automatically adding everything.

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  17. @Andrew: Address Book has a built-in feature that allows you to keep your Gmail contacts in sync with Apple Address Book.

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  18. OMG - this is exactly what we need - gmail offline!! I can't wait...

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  19. 6 weeks...

    We are almost there, aren't we?

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  20. Goosync doesn't seem to add appointments that I make on my phone so hopefully google supports it themselves and this whole thing works. Really surprised this isn't active by now...

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  21. I was using an updated version of incredimail. Now for some unknow reason it has put me back on the old version which I really don't like. How do I get it back to the newer version where the little man comes up and delivers my mail. Also the little envelope on the tool bar won't bring up my mail anymore. It is all mixed up.
    Please help
    Thanks Patty Leslie
    jellybeanleslie@gmail.com

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  22. What's the latest news on the offline app? After all, it's been two months now... But seriously, does anybody have any news on this issue?

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  23. what happened to the syncml support for contacts and calender?? i am waiting to see it.

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  24. whatever happened to SyncML for Google Contacts?

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  25. they introduced new default labels for Contacts but SyncML is still not coming.... I am waiting

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  26. six weeks? I.don't.think.so. These are major hurdles to institutional acceptance

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  27. I would like to see these. It will make Gmail/Calendar a Virtual Outlook/Thunderbird! Too bad it takes more than 6 weeks, where did that number come from?

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  28. OK, I assume it is still not here...

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  29. I guess it is still not available ... really enjoy the off line options for google docs and looking forward to the gmail and calendar options.

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  30. This is sorely needed, esp. for e-mail... how long more to wait?

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  31. I also anxiously await offline Gmail, Docs and Calendar. Tried using Calgoo but not real happy with that either.

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  32. hmm... yeah, another Google promise which has been released as said :/

    it would be nice to see offline support for Gmail, Gcal and contacts, but... WHEN??

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  33. This is fantastic news! Wow, sometimes I forget how important offline is (until i lose power). Good lookin' out gmail team - Glenn Friesen

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  34. It would be very usefull. I'm still waitng for a real sync solution between Gmail, Blackberry and PC.

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  35. right step from google currently only Microsoft is offering this .

    I also found t he same topic on this URL


    http://www.zahipedia.com/2009/01/27/gmail-accounts-now-work-in-offline-mode/

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  36. This is really great new from google and this is really great features. All we are worried about to put mail in offline.

    I am interested to know how this will work out. Please give me the technical help full links about this.

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  37. It is a great improvement giving us offline access for the calendar, now all they need to do is give us the ability to link between gmail and the calendar and google might have a competitor for outlook.

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  38. Status: Finishing offline installation
    Please wait, this may take a few moments...

    these few moments are like forever in my case...what should be the usual installation time taken,man?

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  39. I had the same issue as Anonymous from 1/30: offline mode stalled at "Finishing offline installation." I fixed it by turning off the "Better Gmail 2" add-on that I had installed for Firefox. Once it's done downloading my mail, I may try turning the add-on back on and see if it works. Does anyone know anything about the compatibility between offline mode and the "Better Gmail 2" add-on?

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  40. it is a very wonderful information for every one.I suppose Gmail doesn't show ads in offline mode. So as long as you sync every half an hour or so, you can have an ad-free Gmail experience for free?

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  41. Offline it is very good feature of Gmail. Gmail is definately best e-mail!

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  42. This is very good news! I use Gmail offline. Sometimes it is very useful with WiFi internet.

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  43. Thanks for the good news!!! Gmail is the best!

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