Google said on Monday it is taking the next step to make its Web-based software useful in the real world of spotty Internet access by allowing users to edit word processing documents offline.
The company said it will begin over the next
several weeks to allow users of its Google Docs word processing
application to edit documents without an active Web connection, on
planes, trains and other disconnected spots.
The offline feature of Google Docs temporarily stores documents
changes on a user's local computer. Once reconnected to the Internet,
any changes the user made will automatically be synchronized and
stored on Google-hosted computers.
Google is also working to make more Web applications
and functions work where connections are unavailable, including the ability to edit spreadsheets and viewing or editing
Offline editing is a free feature using a technology known as Google
Gears that the company introduced around 15 months ago to application
developers to build offline features into their own programs.
The technology already works within Google's news feed reader, Google
Reader, and applications from independent Web developers.