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An update on offline access without Gears

Wednesday, July 6, 2011 by Omar Kilani

We're big fans of offline web apps at Remember The Milk; when Google Gears was released in 2007, we spent a caffeine-fuelled weekend coding insanely to make Remember The Milk the first web app after Google Reader to work offline with Gears.

As many of you know, Google stopped development on Gears earlier this year, and Gears support has been removed in Chrome 12. The last releases of other browsers to have Gears support are IE 8 and Firefox 3.6 (so Remember The Milk will only work offline if you stay on these older releases, unfortunately).

The future of offline is, of course, HTML5. So, if we developed offline support with Gears in one crazy weekend, why haven't we released offline support with HTML5 yet? Good question. :)

Based on our testing, we don't believe that the HTML5 technologies required to re-implement offline support (AppCache, IndexedDB) and their various browser implementations are ready just yet for a production web app the size and complexity of Remember The Milk (similar sized apps are things like Gmail, Google Reader, Google Calendar, and the individual apps that make up Google Docs — yes, we really have that much code!).

This situation should change in the next few months, as Google works to make their apps available offline without Gears (offline for Gmail is targeted for delivery as a Chrome web app in the third quarter of 2011). We're continuing to keep a close eye on HTML5 and the browsers, and just as soon as the technology is ready, we plan to bring you guys fast and reliable offline support for Remember The Milk. Stay tuned. :)

Posted in: New Features & Updates