Google Gears on Mobile Devices

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Tomi Häsä

Mar 13, 2008, 8:44:13 AM3/13/08
Power up your mobile web applications
March 3, 2008
"If you've ever tried coding up a mobile client application, you've
probably noticed that the huge variety of mobile operating systems makes
it tough to build rich applications that work on every device. We face the
same challenges. But what if developers could deploy applications directly
to mobile browsers rather than develop native applications? That would
simplify the development process, as developers could use the same coding
skills to create mobile applications. Even better, if these mobile web
applications could work offline, users would be able to use them when they
are disconnected from the network."
"Today we're announcing the launch of Google Gears for mobile, a mobile
browser extension for creating rich web applications for mobile devices.
The first version is now available for Internet Explorer Mobile on Windows
Mobile 5 and 6. It's a fully functional port of Google Gears v0.2 that can
be used to develop offline capability into your mobile web applications.
You can also create slick and responsive applications by hiding latency
issues through controlled caching of data and storage of information
between sessions. We're also working to bring Google Gears for mobile to
Android and other mobile platforms with capable web browsers."
"There are already a handful of Windows Mobile web apps that use Google
Gears for mobile, such as the personal finance service Buxfer and online
applications provider Zoho."

Google Gears in Your Pocket
March 3, 2008
"Today is an exciting day for mobile application development, as it marks
the first release of Google Gears on mobile devices. Gears is initially
available for Internet Explorer on Windows Mobile 5 and 6."
"Consider the sad state of mobile app development today: you often need to
write native code, and build against four different SDKs, using five
different compilers. It's a daunting task, which explains why so few
people write mobile applications."
"Web apps are an obvious way to deliver functionality across mobile
devices. You can write your application just once. So why hasn't this
approach been more widely adopted? Mobile browsers simply cannot do much
of what you want applications to do."
"Enter Google Gears. The mission of Gears is to extend the capabilities of
web browsers. It is clear to us that mobile browsers can benefit just as
much as desktop ones. By adding features to mobile browsers, it becomes
possible to deploy an increasing number of mobile applications as web
"Furthermore, we plan to keep the Gears API consistent across all
platforms. So as long as you account for browser differences (such as
different screen sizes and DOM quirks), the rest of your application will
"just work" across users' systems. You don't need to worry whether you are
running on a mobile device or a desktop machine."
"We are very excited by the potential here. We expect mobile apps built
using Google Gears to usher in a new trend in mobile application

Shifting Google Gears to mobile
March 3, 2008
"Ever use a mobile web application and suddenly lose your cell connection?
That's happened to me many times. If you've shared my pain, you'll be
excited to know that we've launched Google Gears for mobile, which lets
users access Gears-enabled mobile web apps offline. Initially available
for Internet Explorer Mobile on Windows Mobile 5 and 6 devices, mobile web
app developers have already started integrating Gears for mobile into
their online services."
"Take Zoho and Buxfer, for example: Zoho is a powerful suite of web-based
productivity applications, while Buxfer is an innovative personal finance
web application that helps you track your money. With Google Gears for
mobile integrated into mobile Zoho and Buxfer, you can now access these
web applications even when your phone is disconnected from the mobile web.
Stuck on a plane? No problem - you can still read your docs on your mobile
with Zoho Writer Mobile offline. Want to buy that new plasma TV, but can't
remember how much is in your account? Check your balance with Buxfer's
mobile web application, even if there is no cell phone signal. Try them
out on your Windows Mobile 6 device by going to or"
"When you first access mobile Buxfer or Zoho Writer on your Windows Mobile
device and go offline, you will be asked to install Google Gears for
mobile. Once installed, Gears sits happily on your phone helping you stay
connected to your data -- even when you lose your network connection."
"If you're a developer who's interested in creating mobile web
applications using Google Gears for mobile you can find out more
information on our developer site. Finally, if you're not a Windows Mobile
user, stay tuned -- we're working to roll out Google Gears for other
platforms with capable web browsers, including Android."

Now Google Gears Takes Smartphone Apps Offline
March 4, 2008
"Google recently announced that Gears is available for the Windows Mobile
platform. This will allow you to continue using your Web-based
applications even when you lose your data connection or are in an offline
mode. Now you have one less excuse for not getting your projects done on
"Any mobile professional knows how frustrating it is to be using a mobile
Web-based application on your smartphone and lose your connection. Unless
you have some great software controlling your packet session, you can lose
where you were and have to start all over again. Or simply lose the
ability to use the app. Either way, it's no fun. Well, for certain Windows
Mobile 5 and 6 applications, that will no longer be a problem."
"Google has made its Gears software available for pocket Internet Explorer
on WinMo 5 and 6, and is working on developing a mobile version of Gears
for other browsers and other platforms, including Android. In order for
Gears to work, though, the applications you're using need to be

Google Gears Comes Out for Mobile
March 4, 2008
"Google's quest to keep browser-based applications running while offline
is expanding to where it may be needed most: mobile devices."
"A version of the Google Gears browser extension software is available to
developers, according to a Monday blog posting by Google Mobile Product
Manager Charles Wiles. So far it's available only for Microsoft Internet
Explorer Mobile on Windows Mobile 5 and 6 devices, but there will be
versions for other platforms, including Google's own Android system, Wiles
"Google Gears, still in beta testing, lets people continue to work with
Web-based applications after they've gone offline. Data and documents are
saved on the device so users can see and work on them any time. Gears is
already available for desktops and notebooks, with versions for Internet
Explorer on Windows XP and Vista, and for Firefox on XP, Vista, MacOS and
Linux. Gears for Mobile is a port of that software."
"Although notebook PC users sometimes fire up their systems where wired or
wireless Internet access isn't available, users of handheld devices with
cellular data services often are at the mercy of carrier networks where
coverage comes in and out. Using Gears to cache data on devices,
developers can create Web-based applications that not only are usable
completely offline, but also are more responsive where networks suffer
delays, according to Google.",143114-c,google/article.html

Windows Mobile

Google Gears on Mobile Devices
"Google Gears is now available on Windows Mobile 5 and 6 devices."
"Mobile devices are, by their nature, often disconnected from the network.
Even when connected, the latencies in data connections in mobile networks
can make web applications sluggish. Google Gears gives developers the
tools to overcome these obstacles."
"Google Gears works in exactly the same way on a Windows Mobile 5 or 6
device as it does on a desktop PC. If you've already written an
application that uses Google Gears, your application will also work on a
Windows Mobile 5 or 6 device. Except, of course, only within the
limitations of that device. This means you need to consider things such as
small screen and limited ability to input text as well as the limitations
of the Document Object Model and CSS APIs present on mobile devices.
Limitations of Windows Mobile 5 and 6 devices are discussed later in this

Google Gears API
What is the Google Gears API?
"Google Gears is an open source browser extension that lets developers
create web applications that can run offline."
"Google Gears extends browsers to enable richer web applications. Gears
modules include:"
"LocalServer Cache and serve application resources (HTML, JavaScript,
images, etc.) locally"
"Database Store data locally in a fully-searchable relational database"
"WorkerPool Make your web applications more responsive by performing
resource-intensive operations asynchronously"

Google Gears API: LocalServer API

Google Gears API: Database Module API

Google Gears API: WorkerPool Module API

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