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Gmail, Google Docs and Calendars now available offline

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Fancy a bit of non-IFA news? Having first announced its plans to do so at the I/O conference a few months back, Google has begun rolling out offline versions of its popular Gmail, Docs and Calendar software. While offline Gmail has gone live today, Google Docs and Calendars are said to receive the feature within the next couple of days.

To access your Gmail account offline you’ll need to have Google Chrome browser installed. Download the new Gmail app from Chrome’s Web App store, and you’ll be able to switch the app to offline mode. The app itself is pretty swish, being based on the Android tablet version of Gmail, which itself owes more than a bit of thanks to Apple’s iPad Mail app.

Docs will let you view your files and spreadsheets, but doesn’t yet offer the ability to create or edit them offline, which is a shame. While offline meanwhile, Calendar appointments can be viewed and tweaked.

Taking these top services offline and keeping them completely free can only be a good thing. How long before the functionality catches up with Microsoft’s costly Office package? Let us know on the Gadget Helpline Twitter feed.