Google says ‘bye to Gears, hello to HTML5; preps Chrome browser for Apple’s Mac

Hammacher Homepage 300x250“To prove Web applications like Gmail and Google Docs could be as sophisticated as desktop apps, Google created its own desktop software a couple years ago — a small utility called Gears. Once it’s installed on a user’s computer, features like offline caching of e-mails and drag-and-drop file uploading would be unlocked,” Mark Milian blogs for The Los Angeles Times.

“Many of those features are beginning to be adopted by HTML5, the next revision to the standard programming language that powers the Web,” Milian reports. “For the time being, Gears will still feature a number of tools that can be opened using Firefox and Internet Explorer. The technology is built into Google’s Chrome browser.”

However, Milian reports, “As Google prepares to release its first beta version of Chrome for the Mac (a developer preview has been available for months), the company is letting the sun set on its Gears project. ‘We are excited that much of the technology in Gears, including offline support and geolocation APIs, are being incorporated into the HTML5 spec as an open standard supported across browsers, and see that as the logical next step for developers looking to include these features in their websites,’ wrote a Google spokesman in an e-mail.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Safari was the first browser to support HTML 5 audio and video tags. They allow developers to integrate media directly into standard web pages, reducing development time and leading to faster response for users. And by supporting HTML 5 offline technologies, Safari allows web-based applications to store information on users’ hard drives, so they can use web-based apps without an Internet connection. More info here.


  1. I shouldn’t be surprised if Snow Leopard is HTML5 ready and Safari HTML5 native, which is why the highly paid Google programmers could not get gears to work with Snow Leopard.

    Google is behind the HTML5 curve as they had spent a lot of their effort to develop Chrome. Meanwhile Apple had already completed Snow Leopard and since Mr Eric was no longer privy to Apples OS development, Google have been left out in the cold, one years worth of cold, by which time Apple ploughing their own furrow and hiding their trail behind them will be exponentially further ahead of Google and M$ in terms of implementation and development of applications native to HTML5.

    Mini Bloodbath in the making ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  2. MDN: “Safari was the first browser to support HTML 5 audio and video tags”

    Well done, they should get a nice shinny medal for that! Does that mean nobody else is alowed to do it? just because they got there first!?

  3. Does that mean nobody else is alowed to do it? just because they got there first!?

    Nope. It’s just yet another example of how Apple was skating to where the puck was going to be, while Google and Microsoft were in the locker room pulling on their breezers. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  4. @ Julian enough of the trolling already!

    @ all MDN readers, Julian’s link sends you to a restaurant somewhere in Malaysia advertising his/her wares. If I were in Malaysia, I wouldn’t mind, but I am not, and whilst I didn’t mind when you posted this link at a previous thread, I do mind seeing it pop again.

    You may think that you are being cleaver, the truth is you are building up a serious backlash for your business. STOP before it is too late and the flood gates open.

  5. I hate to say this, but with IE still controlling, what is it, 85% of the browser market?, HTML5 is going nowhere until Microsoft gets on board.

    God, it makes me puke to say that, but that’s the way it goes. No point in developing a website that only non-IE users will be able to read.

    (Although I guess the developer could include a “Get Firefox here” link…)


  6. @LordRobin,

    Microsoft has already stated intentions of supporting HTML5, but even if they don’t, or take forever, web developers are going to start using HTML5.

    We’ll start developing in HTML5 and offer alternative code for IE. It’s pretty much what we need to do now anyway because of IE6, and to a lesser degree (IE7 and lesser still IE8).

  7. RM,

    Actually, IE is somewhere between 55% and 70% depending on site/demographic… And it’s falling. If you look at sites that are more tech-, development-, or computer-related, then IE’s share is around 40%.

    Microsoft will soon be in the position of adopting standards or getting left behind. They no longer have a dominant position with which to bully standards adoption.

    So, yes – A general audience site still needs to consider IE users, we’re talking about the future here, not necessarily the present.

  8. “Nope. It’s just yet another example of how Apple was skating to where the puck was going to be,”

    Right. 3G two years behind everyone else, cut and paste two years behind anyone else, MMS three years behind everyone else, video on a cell phone two years behind everyone else, and two button Mice only 25 years behind everyone else….

    Apple Fanboys are always 1st to ignore any short-comings of their products and to tell everyone who “delicious” their product is!!! And how “elegant” and “gorgeous” it is!!

    Hockey isn’t for you kid – please stick to Fanboy practice ofmindlessly parroting Steve Jobs (even when he’s parroting Gretzky) …

  9. @ LordRobin, M$ would do us all a favour and not upgrade to HTML5. This is because the majority of malware, virus and trojans have been written for HTML3 and in parts HTML4. So as long as M$ stay where they are Vis a Vis web development, we will all be relatively fine.

    Webkits for all those who use it to create web pages are already using HTML5, this translates to all the millions of iPhone’s and iPod Touches in the wild, all the iPhone apps, android phones, Chrome, Firefox and CSS3 are webkit ready.

    In conclusion, IE is going nowhere in real time, whilst HTML5 has already dropped down into the horizon of future development

  10. @Right.

    All of your facts are correct. And yet, you are still wrong.

    Apple, in one fell swoop, completely redefined the world smartphone market with the iPhone, effectively “putting the puck” right where they wanted it to be. At this point, there isn’t a mobile phone manufacturer on the planet that isn’t in some way trying to catch up to what Apple has been able to accomplish from day 1 of the iPhone release.

    So, the phone that’s “two years behind everyone else”, seems to somehow be leading the pack. How’s them Apples?

  11. @ Right. The first ever computer to ship out with a mouse was a Mac. Let us disregard Bill Gates comments about it then as nothing he has said since then has turned out to be ground shaking.

    In order to deliver a mobile phone that does not deliver vapourware as per previous so called smart mobile phones, The iPhone 3G was delivered only after USA had caught up with 3G mobile technology and there was a company prepared to roll it out nationally, in the meantime, the 2G iPhone had alreayd superceeded all previous so called smartphones including RIMS Blackberry.

    Cut and paste was not that necessary on the mobile platform as real desktop functionality had never been previously available to smartphones until then. Even the 3G networks crippled by service provider charges had to sabotage editing functionality in order to maximise revenue as RIM did, as a result only large business’ could afford the Blackberry tarifs. It was finally included in the iPhone once it could effect the changes across the individuals Desktop & Laptop so that you didn’t have to repeat the same action once you got home or to your office.

    Does your WinMo provide you with such functionality? What is the point of including features you cannot use if not to make you long for the next update which will be no doubt a new phone at new costs?

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