Google Gears (Beta) [Finally] Comes To Safari

10 Comments

Spotlight importers aren’t the only symbols of Mac-generosity coming from the fine folks over at Google. The Google Gears project has released a beta of their browser code which enables developers to make web apps that behave more like local desktop apps and allow some – or complete – functionality even when you are not connected to the Internet (Google Reader being a very good example). When you come across a “Gears-enabled” application, your browser will prompt you to see if you trust this particular application enough to let it have access to your local filesystem:

It appears to store data in ~/Library/Application Support/Google/Google Gears for Safari, so this would be a good folder to check from time-to-time (remember lsof is your friend) and the database files that are stored use SQLite, so you can peruse them from the command-line or via various GUI’s (one mentioned just recently).

Being a beta release, there are issues and you can add your own newfound bugs to the list as you come across them.

You’ll need Safari 3.1.1 at a minimum (and OS X 10.4.11/10.5.3). I’ve confirmed that it works with Safari 3.1.2. No word on Safari for Windows compatibility (let us know!) and don’t count on Mobile Safari support anytime soon.

If you give the beta a go, let us know your experiences and if you are a developer with a Gears-enabled application, drop the URL in the comments for all the TAB-world to see!

10 Comments

Erik Pettersson

Love Gears and it’s possibilities for the modern web. Usability is important and wich browser you uses shuld not be critical to how you can use the Internet.

Bob Rudis

@Kevin Isn’t local DB storage and full HTML 5 compat. a Safari 4 feature? (a very close source says gears works with Safari 4, btw…)

Zach

All wordpress sites running the latest version have a little turbo button which uses Gears to store all the images and files so it is supposed to speed things up. It just doesn’t work offline

Tice

Hmmm… I don’t know. To give data collector Google another way to get infos? Since Safari has (nearly) no cookie management this is even more on top of stripping naked with that browser.

Not for me!

Kevin Ballard

Given that Safari now supports local database storage already, is there any technical reason that Gears solves, or is it just so apps only have to target Gears rather than targetting both Gears and HTML 5 local database storage?

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