Even though Google Docs is one of the first full-featured office applications designed exclusively for online use, on Monday Google announced that it will be allowing users to access it offline using the free Google Gears extension.
The offline feature will be rolled out slowly in the coming weeks, but some users will have access to it as soon as Monday. According to Google, users will know they have access to it when they see a small 'Offline' menu item displayed in the upper right-hand corner of the document window. Google spreadsheet integration will follow after the word processor rollout is completed.
Web apps to be available 'anywhere and everywhere'
"So today we're taking another small step toward making web applications accessible anywhere and everywhere: over the next few weeks we're rolling out a way for you to edit word processing documents in Google Docs even without a connection," a Google representative said in a statement. "You'll be able to go to docs.google.com without a connection and work on Google Docs; when you reconnect, your changes will automatically sync up."
Google stopped short of announcing a full timetable for the release of the offline access program, but did say that users should check the word processor daily for updates.