June 5, 2007

Review - Google Gears

google_gearsAfter one week since it started floating live, Google Gears is getting more positive reviews. Google Gear is a surprise product from Google we must say. From day one, Google is developing applications that work online. Probably, this is the first product that is created to work offilne.

What is Google Gears?

Google Gears is an application (or simply a plugin) that enables users to read feeds in offline mode. Once installed, Google Gears can download 2000 recent unread items into user's local drive to make them available for users even when not connected to the internet.

What are the benefits?
1. Can read feeds even when not connected to the internet.

2. Even when connected to the internet, using Gears eliminates the need to share the
internet bandwidth to Google Reader. This lets other internet applications to work faster.

3. As feeds are fetched from local drive (against fetching from Google server in
Online Reader), feeds load much faster. Evidentially faster.

4. It comes with 3 simple APIs for JavaScript. This enables web developers to create
creative interfaces

5. Being a small plugin for both Firefox and IE, it avoids the need of a big application

What are the Drawbacks?
1. Images and other multimedia elements are not cached, so while reading feeds
offline, it irritates when we are forced to open the site (we need to be online,shit!)
just to see the images or videos.

2. Only 2000 entries are downloaded. As the feed reading habit is rapidly growing,
2000 will be very small a number.

3. The plugin is not available for Safari (for MAC) and Opera.

I personally don't like to work offline. I may use it when my net connection sucks (normally it doesn't happen with Airtel) !

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