Gmail gets Offline attachment support

By on November 25, 2009, 1:14 PM
Google is furthering the offline capabilities of Gmail today with the introduction of attachments support. According to the company, these was one of the most requested features for Offline Gmail and starting today, users will be able to attach files in offline mode the same way they would in online Gmail.

The added functionality is not groundbreaking by itself, but it was a necessary step towards making Gmail as robust as desktop based alternatives such as Microsoft Outlook. To use this feature, you'll need to either use Google Chrome or download the Gears add-on for Firefox/IE6+, and then enable Offline Gmail from the Labs tab under settings. You'll see the "Offline" link on the top right corner of the Gmail page after reloading it.

You might also be interested in a few other Labs settings you can toggle on to enhance your Gmail experience, ranging from minor tweaks to entirely new functions -- check out some of our favorites here.




User Comments: 32

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paynetrain007 said:

Or we can just get Outlook.

fref said:

No support for Internet Explorer? Even though a lot of people have switched to Firefox, IE is still used by a majority of people, so it's weird they're not supporting it.

Didou Didou, Bowtie extraordinair!, said:

users can include will be able to attach files in offline mode
Come again ? Did you mean to say users will be able to attach files in offline mode.

I was a bit disappointed as I thought it meant it would allow you to open received attachments while in offline mode but I guess that would force the system to download a lot of data before going offline.

Staff
Jos Jos said:

@fref: My bad, Google Gears IS supported by Internet Explorer 6.0+

@Didou: Yeah, fixed that. Thanks.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Indeed a nice feature, had to wait to get online to send the e-mails and sometimes I forgot I weren't able to send the mails due to this and never sent them.

@Didou: You CAN open attached files offline, you just need to configure the filter to how heavy in megabytes an e-mail can be downloaded.

Puiu Puiu said:

I don't like using offline e-mail clients. I just use gmail directly online within the browser.

BlindObject said:

i never liked outlook. I always used my AIM and gmail now that I got recently. But this feature doesn't quite interest me.

freedomthinker said:

Man , you just gotta love Google they now what you need

klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This doesnt really excite me that much i like gmail just the way it is an offline mode lol who really needs that? microsofts email client is not that good either coming grom an internet IT i have ran into tons of problems with it among others.

levar said:

Nice never really took quite a look in @ Google Labs yet, but thanks for sharing. Will look around someday.

harby said:

Well, gmail is nice and all when it comes to emailing within a browser but really should work on a client if they want to compete with Live mail / Outlook express / Thunderbird etc etc

manintech said:

don't think it's a very useful feature though

vangrat said:

I have been using outlook for all of my offline email since gmail first allowed it. So honestly never ran across this problem. I am sure that the people who did use this are going to be very happy as I'm sure this would have been very annoying.

Didou Didou, Bowtie extraordinair!, said:

This is probably for people that can't install an Email client & that would like to use Gmail on their web-browsers without it looking like you've been surfing all day long.

That's what used to happen at work, some colleagues would open Gmail in a browser & leave it open all day getting their new Emails as times goes by (Gmail shows the new ones even without refreshing) but when looking at their surfing logs, it looks they haven't done any serious work all day long.

Offline Gmail allows you to go through your Emails, look at attachments, reply, etc. & "sync" your activity with the on-line servers a couple of times a day. I'm not too sure what happens if the browser were to crash though.

lfg18 said:

Well I have never really liked this kind of programs, i think is faster to check my e-mail online, and it alsa saves space in my HD. Any way if I had to chose I think I would use Gmail

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

klepto12 said:

This doesnt really excite me that much i like gmail just the way it is an offline mode lol who really needs that? microsofts email client is not that good either coming grom an internet IT i have ran into tons of problems with it among others.

I really need that. I for once download emails from home or college, and then go through them when I have the time, and sometimes that time doesn't come when I have access to internet, so I found myself using the heavy client outlook in my netbook which isn't that great when owning more than a single computer to receive the emails in both or every computer you have an account in.

Then came offline gmail, I just synced my other emails into gmail and used the offline feature and get every mail from wherever I and whenever I want it.

After a while, I started replying to and mainly for work deliveries but damn, there was not the feature to attach the files offline (In my college the wifi blacks out from time to time so I don't get full time online), so left it at that and then forget to mail things.

So... yes, I think many more people have less online time than I have, so in the end it's a pretty good looking feature.

Guest said:

Jeez, a lot of people sure don't seem to really understand this announcement.

Clarifications:

#1 GMail is at heart WebMail and this WebMail works with any browser.

#2 However, in combination with the download and install of Google Gears, one can optionally have the WebMail cached locally on the hard drive in case they have no connection to the internet and wish to work with GMail. Any mail they write will not truly be sent until they reconnect to the internet *duh* and of course they won't receive any new email until they connect to the internet *duh* but they WILL be able to see and browse and create all their GMail messages in their usual GMail web page environment while OFFLINE. And now they can also work with attachments in this envoironment. However, this OFFLINE Google Gears feature is only compatible with two web browsers - Chrome and Firefox.

#3 You CAN already receive and use your GMail account without resorting to the GMail web interface through any email client (like Outlook) application although it works best with one that supports IMAP (like Outlook, Thunderbird or Apple Mail).

Crikey.

saintbodhisatva said:

I dont really use the offline feature, but when I do, this sure is going to be quite convenient.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Didou makes an interesting point about gmail at work. That's exactly the way I use it (i.e., open online all day). At home I just use gmail through POP on Thunderbird.

As for the "just get Outlook" comment, not everyone can ignore the fact that Outlook costs money.

zaidpirwani said:

I tried the offline version but then got bored and disabled it....

I never really used it that much either..

But it is a good thing to attach files while in offline mode, as I remember that when I used it offline, sometimes I forgot to attach the files and then later sent those email thinking that the files are attached... My Boss was so mad...

and we were on the phone like

Me: I have sent the file

Boss: No you haven't

Me: Yes I have

Boss: No you don't

Me: Yes I have

Boss: You are fired...

(though it never came this far.... :P

Razerblade said:

This is quite handy for all those users who want to be able to write emails without an internet connection. I think i will stick with outlook as this does everything I need and more!

Nirkon said:

I've never liked email clients myself either, never outlook or Thunderbird or any of that

they just complicate things and download all your emails to your hard drive, I think outlook

was responsible for probably most of the virus infections back then.

But as far as the offline attachments go... I don't really see a big use for it, but

I'm never going against more features.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Glad to know my example gave a lot to talk about

Shame on you bots posting for giveaways!

yorro said:

You can always use an email client for those who go online once a day.

BlackIrish said:

Interesting feature - still it's a lot easier to just use Thunderbird since it has native support for gmail.

You can later just edit a few settings, and you'll be able to have all of your emails + attachments offline, plus all the other features of gmail... So I still don't get it why people want to have everything in the web browser. Like, there are even games like Quake Live and Battlefield Heroes that are played IN browser - what's the point of that!?

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The point of that my dear Blackirish, is to have everything everywhere without the need of having to install software or having to be on your machine to do the things you do on your computer, that's the main idea and purpose of web-based aplications.

No need for pendrives, or even the need for hardware limitations in some older machines (Sometimes community or public computers), web-based runs practicly everywere.

jerry53 said:

this is great news for people with a huge amount of bandwidth and lightning fast internet connection but for others a pain this why people dont use outlook in the first place.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

But Jerry... it's like downloading anything from the net, you just leave it downloading for the first time, then everytime you check the mail you just download the new stuff, and offline mode is activated per computer you are using.

For example, you check your mail at work, college and home. In home and ofice you have the feature available, at school you don't, simple as that.

swilllx2p said:

I personally use thunderbird with my gmail account and love it. Not a bad feature to add though, but it doesn't seem like a whole lot..just a minor upgrade really. I would think it would mostly just help the people on dial up, because highspeed your always online anyways.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I personally use thunderbird with my gmail account and love it. Not a bad feature to add though, but it doesn't seem like a whole lot..just a minor upgrade really. I would think it would mostly just help the people on dial up, because highspeed your always online anyways.

You are always online at home, but what happens when you leave your home, or have to work while traveling, or... (Insert into here another off-internet-grid possibility).

Guest said:

I don't like the way they implemented it. Before when I add an attachment, I see a nice progress bar as to how far the upload is. Now that bar fills in 1 second, when I click send the message is in outbox and I have to wait until it disappears before I can close my browser. No progress indicator or anything. Another thing, I didn't notice this at first and closed my browser immediately leaving the message unsent. The next time I opened the browser I saw it was in my outbox and gmail was synchronizing. Now I couldn't read any new messages until the upload had finished, because it was apparently part of the synchronization process.

jobeard jobeard, TS Ambassador, said:

As for the "just get Outlook" comment, not everyone can ignore the fact that Outlook costs money. :o

in addition, a) it's platform dependent and only runs as an email client vs.

b) the gmail pop3 interface is platform neutral

c) and the webmail interface is not only platform independent,

but can be used from a laptop at any location where you can get a connection

(email clients can receive but not send in this environment due to Open Relay issues).

[I'm agnostic and {Mac, PC, Linux, OpenBSD, ...} are preferred ]

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