Google Gears adds offline capabilities to Web apps: Hello, Apple iPhone?

“Everywhere you look, it seems as if more and more core applications are moving from the desktop to the Web, but for all the advantages of Web applications, this emerging class of software carries a major liability when compared with its desktop-bound brethren: Without the Web, there’s no application,” Jim Rapoza reports for eWeek.

“Enter Google Gears, a new tool for adding offline capabilities to Web applications from Google, the 800-pound gorilla of the Web application space,” Rapoza reports.

“eWEEK Labs tested the initial beta of Google Gears that the search company released at its Developer’s Day in late May, and we see a lot of promise in the tool for helping to dissolve the offline access dilemma that threatens to retard the growth of Web-based applications,” Rapoza reports.

Rapoza reports, “Google Gears runs as a browser plug-in and is easy for users to install on the browsers and platforms that Gears currently supports—namely, Internet Explorer and Firefox on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. However, Google Gears is first and foremost a developer play, as the Web application developer—for the offline capabilities to work—has to enable this functionality using the Google Gears API.”

MacDailyNews Note: For those interested in Apple’s iPhone and Safari possibilities, a note on Google’s Gears site states, “Additionally, the team is working on supporting Safari on Mac OS X in a future release.”

Full article here.

More info: http://gears.google.com/

23 Comments

  1. slightly off topic but it bothers me:
    If iPhone runs a real OS X how is it different from Mac computers, in terms of ability to run third party apps?! Anybody pls. tell me that I am getting it wrong… Cause otherwise I can not trust what Jobs is saying, about “secret features”, Leopard delay, iPhone OS and now about how cool the web-apps for iPhone are.
    PS how can they be cool if 15% of the screen is taken by safari address line!!!!!!!!

  2. EV: Think widgets. Yes safari is the browser, but all that is really needed is the core foundations, which is what the widgets use. My guess, and this is just a guess, that’s how this stuff is going to work.

  3. iPhone doesn’t *quite* run “real OS X” EV…I thought this was quite…apparent by now ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

    iPhone = World’s Greatest NAND Flash-based iPod…what happens to have a phone and web browser.

    iPhone != “smartphone”…Apple Marketing notwithstanding.

    Keep in in the proper perspective and all of the “confusion” and “mistrust” kinda fades away ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  4. “Without the Web, there’s no application,” Jim Rapoza reports for eWeek.”

    Fascinating.. and yet all over the world we see URBANIZATION and RAPID EXPANSION of wifi networks…

    Hrmmmm… What the hell was Apple thinking? Of course! Online storage is a pipe dream!

  5. “If iPhone runs a real OS X how is it different from Mac computers, in terms of ability to run third party apps?!”

    Well, for one thing, there’s no menu bar. The iPhone has the iPhone User Interface, not the Mac UI.

    A third party app expecting to find a menu bar won’t find one, or the Mac desktop, or printer drivers, or contextual menus, or an extensive list of fonts, or many other frameworks/services not needed on the iPhone.

  6. It has been stated repeatedly by Steve Jobs and EVERY Apple rep that the iPhone runs OS X. But this does not make it a Mac. The Finder is simply an App that runs on top of OS X. The current Aqua interface runs on top of OS X. The iPhone has a different UI running on top of OS X. Nobody lied about OS X on iPhone, but that doesn’t keep a lot of people for misinterpreting what can and cannot be done. I agree that Web 2.0 and AJAX is disappointing, but it IS a step forward from where things started when the iPhone was introduced. I, for one (and I am not alone), am convinced that Apple will produce an SDK and APIs for iPhone after the dust of the initial introduction settles. The iPhone is too important a product launch to be derailed by a rash of poorly implemented apps causing a distraction. There is a very simple solution for those dislike the course that Apple has taken: stay away from the iPhone.

  7. @ Spark
    by the solution you suggest I can tell that you have no shares of Apple:)

    you arguments about what OS really is remind me of recenet argumentation by MDN on when the Spring does end…

    I do not care about what is the finder and and cocoa! or if there is menu bar in iPhone (btw if there is a place for a huge Address bar in Safari why not to add a menu bar). All I see is that WinMobile devices can run apps and a “revolutionary” iPhone can only handle them in a sandbox… I do not understand why Apple needs to wait for the dust to settle down before opening iPhone for developers? To me it all looks like that they are not sure about the stability of the iPhone OS and scare that apps will reduce the stability. There is a thin line beween bluffing and marketing and a lie. Jobs seem to be dangerously close to it…

  8. @ Kai Cherry, put your brain into the right gear before you open your cakehole!

    You start by negating the very core software that differentiates the iphone from the ipod!

    An ipod is an ipod, and iphone is a portable phone that has an inbuilt ipod, video pod & a fully functional web browser.

    @ EV You are worse than Kai Cherry!!

    Are you writing to this blog through your arse? I should think so since your spelling reflects it!!

    What applications do Winmobiles run that are superior to the iphone?

    If that were the case, do you think (not that you can) that the iphone would have got as much publicity from the Worlds media as it has?

    Are all those journalist, techsperts, researcher’s, hardware makers, software developers, web users, Apple mac owners WRONG?

    WRONG to take Mr. Jobs announcements and presentations at face value because you do not understand Apple inc? and how it works??

    WHAT THE F*CK IS AN ARGUMENTATION?

    How on this earth do you expect anyone to take you seriously after such a warped posting?

    It is a good thing you can hide in the anonymity of the web!

    Go look at the MacWorld keynote address or the iphone demo in the Apple homepage, this will help you realise that a menu is a menu in what ever form it takes. If you want a menu bar…. you know where to go!

    If you like innovation and appreciate the ease of use of new innovation, then instead of bitching about your ignorance, take time to study and ask questions where you do not understand.

  9. @EV

    Of course Apple is worried about 3rd party apps ruining the stability of the iphone, Thats the whole reason why the iPhone is (currently) closed.

    Why do you think WinMobile devices are so unstable and suck?? Crappy 3rd party apps! You must be stupid if you think Apples going to make the same mistakes

    …but even if you dont, you’re still stupid

  10. “Without the Web, there’s no application,” Jim Rapoza reports for eWeek.”

    Fascinating.. and yet all over the world we see URBANIZATION and RAPID EXPANSION of wifi networks…

    Fascinating. And yet, you’ve never made it out of your mother’s basement.

    Seriously though, what the fuck does WiFi, or cities for that matter, have to do with network reliability?

    I’m getting really sick of all this web app grandstanding. Look: if you think web apps are so awesome and reliable, just imagine if Apple had made the iTunes client in the iPhone (the iPod aspect) a web app.

    In some other thread in the past day or so, some idiot actually tried to say, “why can’t web apps replace Photoshop?” And then proceeded to link to an online demo where you couldn’t even move windows around.

  11. It is fun to read your line:
    “How on this earth do you expect anyone to take you seriously after such a warped posting?”

    Then you write such dribble as: “If you like innovation and appreciate the ease of use of new innovation, then instead of bitching about your ignorance, take time to study and ask questions where you do not understand.”

    Great use of the English language ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    You write:”Are you writing to this blog through your arse? I should think so since your spelling reflects it!!”

    Criticize other’s spelling then you can’t spell the word “realize”?

    MDN word, hell
    As in what the hell is wrong with you?

  12. Web based applications are interesting, no doubt, but I don’t imagine they’ll replace standalone software in a wholesale fashion anytime soon. Afterall, Amazon.com hasn’t replaced the physical bookstore.

    Nothing beats having software installed on your machine locally, where you can maintain control of it, and use it whenever and however you wished – rather than the software being fiddled with by someone across the Ocean when-ever they felt like it.

    What if Google (or whoever) decided to prevent your accessing of their web-software, for whatever reason?

    I do remember rumblings from MS a while back where they were toying with the concept of keeping Windows ( and Office etc) on servers in Redmond, and to use Word/Excel etc the user had to pay a ‘royalty fee’ to MS everytime they opened these applications. Also, the computer the user had would be MS’s property, rather than their own…

    Just some food for thought.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.