back to article Offline Google Docs disappear on May 3

Google's online document and spreadsheet editors will no longer offer offline access as of May 3, and it's unclear when it will return. On Monday, the company introduced updated versions of its Google Docs editors, and unlike previous versions they do not provide offline access through the Google Gears browser extension, which …


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  1. Tim J

    Data in the cloude = no control

    If you store data in the cloud, this just goes to show that you're not in control of it.

  2. heyrick Silver badge


    So why are they turning off the OLD (Gears) offline mode when the new (HTML5) offline mode is not yet ready?

    Or maybe they're hoping they can turn it off, people will adapt, and then they can say "you never really needed it after all". But, then ages, like their recent YouTube restyling, your choice is but take it or leave it.

    This does, however, highlight a possible danger in the concept of Cloud based computing. You are, still, subject to the caprices of a company you have no direct control over. Maybe nobbling offline mode is "no big deal". Consider ten years from now, people happily working with the iPad 1.0 and GooglePad 1.0 until a seemingly arbitary time when they are deemed "too old" and you either upgrade or do without. But it won't be *your* choice, as a user. I'll be a choice put upon you. In a sense, your data will no longer really be yours.

  3. Petey
    Thumb Down

    What's happening to Gears then?

    Should I uninstall now? And delete all of my builds that I've worked so hard to keep running through all my browser upgrades??


    1. Bill Gould


      They'd previously announced that they were discontinuing Gears and no longer supporting it. It's a good thing their motto "Don't be evil" is still just in Beta.

      1. Trevor Pott o_O Gold badge

        To bad it's a closed beta.

        I've been waiting for my CD key for months!

  4. OffBeatMammal

    maybe Going Google wasn't a good idea

    so, after running ad campaigns encouraging users to "go google" to avoid service interruptions, lost documents etc.... Google have a series of service interruptions and then start degrading or removing functionality.

    I don't know about you but I don't live in a world of always-on, high speed internet so I like to have a local copy of a doc I can work with on my notebook.

    Imagine. There you are at 45,000 feet (or on a train in a tunnel, or an old school cafe with no wifi). You want to check where your next meeting is, or reply to that urgent email or finish a presentation.

    Option 1/ You fire up Microsoft Office, use Outlook to check your calendar, compose a witty and well worded response to the email and file it in the outbox to send as soon as you have connectivity and put the final polish on the presentation you're giving in an hour

    Option 2/ You stare at the "connecting" screen for a minute, realise that you're screwed and play patience until you can get a connection to the borg again

    For all that Google likes to pretend it's the new Sun (all but claiming "The Network is the Computer" I think we're a way off that reality

    1. KenBW2

      Not in a job where you're required to use your initiative then

      If you think Gmail and Outlook are the only places where you can put text just a copy/paste away from its destination, then you might want to rethink your career. And play less patience.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Fluffy clouds

    Well store your data in the cloud and you get (at best) what you pay for....

  6. Change can be good
    Thumb Up

    Google offline support = OpenOffice.org2GoogleDocs

    Google already has offline support through OpenOffice

    Google has offline support through the OpenOffice extension OpenOffice.org2GoogleDocs.

    You can work offline on OpenOffice and upload it to Google Docs in just 2 clicks when you are online!

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