Offline Gmail Grows Up, Moves Out of Labs

One of the first complaints about the upcoming Google Chrome OS is how it requires a constant connection to the web to be useful. That is a valid complaint about a “cloud computer”, as it needs the web to provide functionality. Those folks at Google (s goog) are no doubt aware of that concern, and have made Offline Gmail official.

Previously, Offline Gmail existed in the Labs as an experimental feature in Gmail. It used Google Gears to allow users to cache email on the local computer, so that access was possible even when offline. Aside from making Offline Gmail part of the official Gmail implementation, two features have been added to make it work more to the user’s liking. The first is the ability to choose which messages get cached locally, providing for more control for users with massive amounts of Gmail stored. The second is the ability to send attachments while offline, something previously not possible.

To get going with Offline Gmail just follow these instructions from Google:

  1. Click the “Settings” link in the top-right corner of Gmail.
  2. Click the “Offline” tab.
  3. Select “Enable Offline Mail for this computer.”
  4. Click “Save Changes” and follow the directions from there.