So far as I understand, the only current application lets you read feeds offline. Perhaps I’m missing something but – what exactly is the point of that?
- I use feeds to alert me to interesting website content – which I then want to visit and read. Can’t really do that offline. . .
- When I’m offline it’s for a good reason – to relax, stop working and have a break from feeds, email and all the rest of it. I don’t need to carry a reminder of what I’m not reading everywhere I go – especially when I can’t do anything about it. If you’re offline – well, be offline, not semi-online. Smell some flowers or something.
Gears today covers what we think is the minimal set of primitives required for offline apps. It is still a bit rough and in need of polish, but we are releasing it early because we think the best way to make Gears really useful is to evolve it into an open standard
To be honest, I’m starting to tire of very-beta early release Google apps. They’re great when they work well, but Google seem very slow to improve those that don’t. I’m thinking Groups (still no integration with other apps), Reader (still no search), iGoogle (seems to break a little more every day at the moment). Are they overstretching themselves? Or struggling to prioritise? Time will tell.
Perhaps Google, by releasing their APIs, are just relying on the open source community to do the work. There are certainly lots of great enhancements around (Greasemonkey scripts and so on), but I’d still like to see a little more effort by Google to polish certain products before release.