Google demos offline Gmail for smartphones

Never one to rest on its laurels, Google quickly followed up its announcement of offline Gmail support for desktops with a demo of offline Gmail support on mobile smartphones, including the Apple iPhone, the Palm Pre and, of course, those based on Google's own Android OS.

According to iPhonebuzz, the new feature, demonstrated by Vic Gundotra, VP of engineering at Google, enables phone users to access their e-mail even when no network connection is available. But rather than relying on Google's Gear technology to support the offline mode, it instead relies on the HTML5's AppCache and Database standards for keeping an on-device store of not only the user data, but the software itself.

The cool part? iPhonebuzz says that since the technology is based on HTML5, and not some other proprietary software, it works with any phone equipped with a WebKit-based browser. "And that lets developers code a single application that will run on multiple platforms, with the GUI and functionality identical on each."

Still, the app was a demo-only and Google declined to say when it might become readily available. For more information, check out the demo video on YouTube.

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