"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, CEO of Google, in a statement. "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 hopes Gears will become the standard for adding offline capabilities such as data storage, application caching, and multithreading to online applications.
David Mitchell Smith, Gartner web analyst, said that "The idea of taking Web applications offline is big," he said. While Google Gears can be viewed as a competitive move against Microsoft, he said that's not the only valid frame of reference.
Google Gears is also a threat for rich Internet applications. "Rich clients become less compelling the more the Web applications continue to grow," said Smith from Google. "Ajax has certainly taken a bite out of the opportunities that RIA developers thought they had."
Following are three Key features of Google Gear;
- A database, to store and access data from within the browser.
- A worker thread pool, to make web applications more responsive by performing expensive operations in the background
Google Gear is currently compatible with following set of browsers;
- Apple Mac OS X (10.2 or higher) o Firefox 1.5 or higher
- Linux o Firefox 1.5 or higher
- Microsoft Windows (XP or higher) o Firefox 1.5 or higher o Internet Explorer 6 or higher
Following are some useful links related to Google Gear
Google Gear: http://gears.google.com/
Sample Tutorial: http://code.google.com/apis/gears/tutorial.html
Sample Applications: http://code.google.com/apis/gears/sample.html