Those of us who rely on hosted (the current buzz word is “in the cloud“) data and software solutions, connectivity is a must. When we’re a way from a wi-fi hotspot or otherwise unable to get online, these hosted services have little to no value.
Now take this line of thinking one step further to the mobile platform. The mobile computing revolution is just starting to take off and for it to be valuable, mobile access to data is a must-have. This is why it’s welcome news for web workers that Google Gears is now available for some mobile handsets.
Initially only available for Internet Explorer on Windows Mobile, Google Gears for Mobile will give you access to Gears-enabled Web services when you’re out of reach of a cell phone signal. Whether you’re in an area with spotty cell coverage or on a plane, Google Gears will allow you to access to your favorite online services once they are Gears-enabled.
Zoho and Buxfer are highlighted on Google’s Mobile blog as being the initial services known to harness the power of Google Gears for mobile. For web workers, this gives Zoho a new facet of usefulness as we can use Zoho Writer on the go with or without connectivity to the mobile web.
While Zoho is a great example of the utility of Google Gears for mobile, I’ll be more excited about Gears when it is integrated into more web services and more web platforms. On the web in general, Google Gears is only found as an option on only a handful of sites. For example, in the Google suite of applications, only Google Reader has offline access.
Additionally, Google Gears is only available for Windows Mobile. This will be a much more exciting offering when it is available for other platforms including Symbian, BlackBerry, and iPhone.
For the web worker, offline mobile access would be fantastic on a number of applications including email, billing/invoicing information, contact information, scheduling, and news reading. We here at Web Worker Daily will keep an eye on this space and let you know when developments occur!