Google offers offline Calendar now too

When Google announced it had finally made offline Gmail a reality, users wondered when it would follow suit with offline Calendar. Well wonder no more. Lifehacker reports that Apps users can now get offline (beta) access to their online Google Calendar, although it's not nearly as feature-rich as the offline Gmail implementation.

Like with Gmail, offline access to Calendar is performed via Gears, so Apps users first need to make sure they're Gears-enabled. Once offline access is enabled, event syncs happen via the browser, and Lifehacker says its first synchronization took less than a minute, although its "shared staff calendar isn't stuffed with events."

The downside is that the synchronization seems to be only one way, in that users can't make Calendar changes while offline--they simply can see events already slated. The beta tool also doesn't make use of Gmail's innovative flaky mode, for synching up in the background when network connections are less-than-optimal.

Still, some offline access is better than none. Google keeps incrementally improving Apps to the point where it's becoming a real Office competitor, especially in the mobile space. Now that it's providing key offline access in addition to feature-rich online tools, it's truly giving Microsoft a run for its money.

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