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Google announced today that they are making some big changes in Offline support for Gmail with the Chrome browser.

Of course, Gmail is gorgeous in Google Chrome, it just works so smoothly. One feature, however, that is not so beautiful is the offline mail feature. It works, but it leaves some to be desired. Well, with the release of Chrome version 12, the support for Google Gears is going away. As a result, Google Gears-based Gmail Offline will no longer work with the Chrome browser as of Tuesday, May 24, 2011.

The new Gmail Offline capability is targeted for delivery as a Chrome browser web app early this summer. I am sure it will be awesome.

BTW, have you seen some of the great Chrome apps that are out? My favorite time waster has to be the Super Mario Crossover app, which lets you play Super Mario with a bunch of other Nintendo characters… Bill R. from Contra is my personal favorite. And yes, there are business productivity apps as well, tons of them. Check out the Chrome Web Store.

If you use Chrome and Gmail Offline:

Google Gears-based Gmail Offline will continue to work with versions of Internet Explorer 8.0 and Mozilla Firefox versions 3.6. We suggest that you change to Gmail Offline and use one of the following options for offline access:

  • Mozilla Firefox 3.6
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 8
  • IMAP client (such as Thunderbird – the best offline solution)
  • Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook (requires installation of client plug-in and certain versions of Office)

To learn more about the change to Gmail Offline in Chrome, see the Gmail Offline Update in the Help Center at http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1308394.

The Google Apps Team Acknowledge that there’s a temporary gap in Gmail offline access via Chrome, and they are working hard to deliver offline capabilities through a new Gmail OfflineChrome web app as quickly as possible.

I look forward to giving it a try. Let me know what you think about Google Apps and Google Offline in the comments.