Gmail offlineGmail has been my primary email client for years already—for its simplicity, effectiveness and speed. With the new incoming feature in Gmail Labs, namely Offline Gmail, Google had successfully stopped me from bothering to look at any alternatives.

Offline Gmail is powered by Google Gears, using it to download a local cache of your mail and synchronize it with Gmail’s servers as long as you are online. When there is no connection available, you can access to the locally saved Gmail using your internet browser and do just anything you can when you’re online (except for Google Talk, of course).

When connection is available again, whatever you have done offline just now will be synchronized with Gmail’s servers again. Offline emails will be sent, stars and labels will be updated etc.

Just like other Google services, this new feature will be rolled out slowly. If you don’t see them in your Gmail Labs yet, you should see them in a couple of days, unless you are not using Gmail in English (either US & UK).

If you see Offline Gmail in the Gmail Labs already, you can enable it, and then set it up by clicking on the “Offline0.1” link at the top right corner.

The Flacky Connection Mode is interesting. It synchronizes your mails with the server in the background, but Gmail will still be using the local cache. It is meant to be used when connection is crappy, but what if we still use it when our connection is decent? Super fast Gmail? I can’t tell until Offline Gmail is available for my account.

Official Gmail Blog – New in Labs: Offline Gmail

Updates:
Offline Gmail is available on my Gmail account after less than 24 hours this post is published. Gmail downloaded one year worth of my mail archive, along with their attachments.

I initially though Flacky Connection Mode can be used to speed things up even if we are on a decent connection. But it turns out that in Flacky Connection Mode, images in emails will not be displayed. If most of your emails are text-based and without any images, Flacky Connection Mode is useful to speed things up, else, only use it when the internet connection is slow or unstable.






This post has 2 comments.

  1. Jaypee
    30 Jan 09
    12:13 am

    Google has been adding a lot of new stuff in Google Labs and Offline Gmail is a very nice addition.

    I’ve been using Gmail for more than 3 years now and since I started using it, I too didn’t look for any alternative.

    I access my Gmail using POP via Thunderbird so I’ve been able to access my Gmail account offline even before Offline Gmail was introduced. What I like about using Thunderbird is that I can create folders and filters which makes managing and sorting emails fast and easy. I also use Thunderbird as a RSS aggregator.

    Reply

    Vincent replied:

    I’ve use it for 3 years too. I haven’t use any desktop email client before, for I want to minimize the number of active programs on my computer.

    Since I’m on Firefox all the time, I have Gmail Manager addon installed. Along with labels, filters and Gtalk integrated, I’m content already.

    The Offline Gmail is an added bonus. It will be perfect if images in emails in available in offline mode too.

    Reply