Google has rolled out an offline service for Gmail in a bid to woo business users, CNET reports. The system lets users read, write, and search emails in their browsers even when they’re not connected to the Internet. Messages are sent and retrieved again once network access is restored. A "flaky connection mode" synchronizes mail with the server during intermittent access.
"This is a feature we've heard loud and clear the enterprise wants," said Gmail's product manager. Google also plans to offer offline calendar access in the near future. Analysts say the new offline mode, while seemingly at odds with Google's web-based computing ideals, will make Gmail more attractive to business customers—although the lingering beta tag is seen as a big turnoff.