If ever there were a device that needed the ability to work with online applications without being online, it’s those ever-temperamental mobile phones that can never keep a signal for as long as you need to get something done. Google Gears answered that call earlier this week by launching Google Gears for mobile phones, which allows users to work with Web 2.0 applications, minus the connectivity.
Like the ordinary version of Gears, Gears for mobile caches application data on a device to allow it to function without an active Internet connection. This means you can still, say, continue to tinker with a spreadsheet in an online office app, even when your connection goes south.
While not every application offers compatibility with Gears for mobile (developers need to program it in), a handful of apps including the money management tool Buxfer and Zoho office suite already work with it. Google hopes availability of the Google Gears mobile API will encourage more developers to hop on board in the future.
Currently, Gears for mobile devices only works as an Internet Explorer plug-in with Windows Mobile 5 and 6, but Google claims that versions for other operating systems and browsers are one the way.