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Ever since the advent of the web-based software application, users have complained about the inability to use the tools while not connected to the Internet. Those days are gone. Enter Google Gears, an open source web browser extension (Windows, Macintosh and Linux) that enables web applications to provide functionality while offline. According to Google the service provides users with the ability to:

  • Store and serve application resources locally
  • Store data locally in a fully-searchable relational database
  • Run asynchronous Javascript to improve application responsiveness

Google Gears say their goal is to create a single, standardized way to add offline capabilities to Web applications—not just software developed by Google—but any software that can take advantage of the Google Gears API.  Google Gears is still in its beta testing stage and not yet ready for prime time.

If you are a tinkerer and would like to test drive Google Gears, check out this tutorial. Several sample applications are featured on the site.