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Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Google Starts Offering Offline Access to Docs and Apps

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 presentations.

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.

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