Gears on by default

Some time ago I wrote about Google Gears, the browser plugin that enables you to view your web content offline. Google implemented it for Google Reader first and my expectation was that they would enable it for more of their online applications. As far as I know they did not do that yet.

At the time, I was quite impressed with the the tool, as you can read in my previous post. One drawback I reported was the fact that you have to deliberately click the ‘go offline’ button to download the web content to the browser so you could in fact view it offline.

Well, a few months down the road I have to conclude I did not use the feature at all. Biggest reason: every time I though about it was when I was offline behind my laptop. And that doesn’t happen that often either.

I was reminded about Gears yesterday and the night before when I was unable to view my stuff at Google Docs:


BTW Ctrl-F5 didn’t do the trick…

So my question to Google is: When are you enabling Gears by default for all your apps and offering me a place within my G-account from where I can manage preferences for how it behaves (download content, frequency etc.) for the specific apps?

PS I realize a large percentage of my recent posts concerned Google one way or the other. Last one for a while etc. etc.



  1. Very good question! A desktop-based Google web buffering tool with a good API & GUI could be a very welcome addition, also when it concerns building creativity systems, also with Opensocial.

    It could streamline the way in which we currently use GMail for sending large files to one another, when we’re working on a project together. Google Gears could act as something that keeps nonlocal development teams synchronized, much like how Final Cut Pro suites are connected in multi-user setups. A good Google Basecamp is I guess what I’m saying.

    Did you see this presentation by Douglas Miller and Eric Schmidt? They really talk about the distribution of enterprise infrastructure. What if we could use Google to rapidly form and disband teams of Dutch students, for instance between Delft & Rotterdam? 🙂

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