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Google Launches Gears Open Source Project to Bring Offline Capabilities to Web Applications


At Google Developer Day, New Browser Extension Provided to Developer Community

SYDNEY, Australia - Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) today announced at Google Developer Day 2007 that it is providing developers with Google Gears™, an open source technology for creating offline web applications. This new browser extension is being made available in its early stages so that everyone can test its capabilities and limitations and help improve upon it. The long-term hope is that Google Gears can help the industry as a whole move toward a single standard for offline capabilities that all developers can use.

Google Gears marks an important step in the evolution of web applications because it addresses a major user concern: availability of data and applications when there’s no Internet connection available, or when a connection is slow or unreliable. As application developers and users alike want to do more on the web—whether it’s email or CRM or photo editing—enhancements that make the browser environment itself more powerful are increasingly important.

“With Google Gears we’re tackling a key limitation of the browser in order to make it a stronger platform for deploying all types of applications and enabling a better user experience in the cloud,” said Eric Schmidt, Chief Executive Officer of Google. “We believe strongly in the power of the community to stretch this new technology to the limits of what’s possible and ultimately emerge with an open standard that benefits everyone.”

Google is offering Google Gears as a free, fully open source technology in order to help every web application, not just Google applications. As a first example of what is possible, the Google Reader™ feed reader ( is available today with Gears-enabled offline capabilities.

Industry support
Google will be working closely with all members of the web community to converge upon a standard so developers have one consistent API for offline functionality.

“We’re very excited to be collaborating with Google to move the industry forward to a standard cross-platform, cross-browser local storage capability,” said Kevin Lynch, senior vice president and chief software architect at Adobe. “The Gears API will also be available in Apollo, which enables web applications to run on the desktop, providing developers with consistent offline and local database solutions.”

“This announcement is a significant step forward for web applications,” said Brendan Eich, CTO at Mozilla Corporation. “We’re pleased to see Google working with open source and open standards bodies on offline web applications.”

“Opera and Google share the common goal of making Web applications richer and more robust,” said Håkon Wium Lie, CTO, Opera Software. “Developers have long desired the functionality and flexibility Google Gears can offer browsers. Because Opera has always prioritized giving our users what they want, we’re excited to work with Google to extend the reach and power of Web applications.”

Another tool in the application development toolbox
Google Gears builds on the web’s existing programming model by introducing new JavaScript APIs for sophisticated data storage, application caching, and multi-threading features. With these APIs, developers can bring offline capabilities to even their most complex web applications. Google Gears works with all major browsers on all major platforms: Windows, Mac and Linux.

Google Gears is available now at


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