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April 7, 2008

List of Web Applications That Use Google Gears

After naming Google Gears the most innovative product of 2007, PC World is disappointed that very few important applications use Google's technology. Gears is still an early product, but most of the news articles that mention it talk about making web applications available offline, even if Google Gears is much more than that. An important point from PC World's article is that Google doesn't show a list of applications that use Gears before installing the plug-in, so users don't have too many reasons to try it. Here's a list of some important applications that use Google Gears:

* Google Reader
- feed reader from Google
- the Gears integration was added in May 2007
- it lets you read the most recent 2000 posts offline, without having access to images and enclosures. You can also star posts or tag them.

* Remember the Milk
- task management application
- the second application Gears-enabled, six days after Google Reader
- most of the functionality is available offline. "Not only can you access your lists, but you can add new tasks and notes, edit existing tasks (complete, postpone, prioritise, tag, and change due dates to your heart's content), use your own personal tasks search engine, create new Smart Lists, and more."

* Zoho Writer
- online word processor
- supports Gears since August 2007, with an important update in November and Windows Mobile support since March 2008
- a number of recent documents can be viewed and edited offline

* PassPack
- online password manager
- launch date: September 2007
- "With the Offline Version, you can download your data from your PassPack account, then access and manage it whenever you wish. This is not a read only version, you are free to make changes and save them locally. To synchronize your online and offline accounts, use the backup and restore functions."

* MindMeister
- online mind mapping
- launch date: November 2007
- "The MindMeister Offline Mode allows users to work on their mind maps even when they're offline, i.e. not connected to the Internet. All changes will be saved locally and synchronized back into your MindMeister account the next time you go online," explains a help page.

* Buxfer
- personal finance manager
- the Gears support was added in January 2008 and was extended to Windows Mobile in March
- the application has the option to store the authentication information offline. "You will have the convenience of not needing to login into your financial institution repeatedly, as well as the peace of mind that your private information is secure and completely under your control!"

* Autodesk Labs Project Draw
- create diagrams online
- launch date: January 2008
- the application can run in the offline mode and synch files later when you reconnect

* Google Docs
- online word processor
- experimental launch for a small percent of users - March 2008
- you can view and edit documents offline

* Picasa Web Albums Mobile
- photo sharing service
- offline support for Windows Mobile 6 touchscreen devices, April 2008
- you can view photo albums offline

* Paymo
- time tracker
- Gears-enabled from April 2008
- Google Gears added the "ability to work offline and sync the data with the Paymo server once an internet connection is available"

* MySpace
- social network
- the Gears integration was launched on May 29
- Google Gears allows users to search and sort their messages locally as MySpace considered it was "time consuming and cost-prohibitive to add indexes on the server".

* Wordpress.com
- hosted blogging service
- Gears enabled from July 2008
- "On WordPress.com it is used to store all images and other web page components from the admin area to the user's PC, speeding up access and reducing unnecessary web traffic. The speed increase is most noticeable when Internet is slow or on high latency and makes everybody's blogging experience more enjoyable."

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