Google has now made its Drive service more than an online storage product and productivity suite. You can now edit documents you have stored on Google Drive (or Docs, if you haven't moved over to the new interface) during those moments -- while sitting on an airplane or in a cabin in the woods or in a Wi-Fi-free coffee shop -- when you are not connected to the Internet. And when you open that same document when you are back online, the changes you made while offline are there. (For some reason, Google is putting this offline access under … Read more
Shortly after the Google I/O keynote yesterday, Google rolled out a list of app updates, one of which was an update to Google Maps. In the update, Google enabled the ability to save a section of a map for offline access. This is a great feature when you are traveling in an area with spotty coverage.
To save an area, launch Google Maps and tap on the menu key. Select Make Available Offline from the menu and then narrow down the area you want to save. You'll want to make sure you do this in advance and when … Read more
Google unveiled an offline version of its Google Maps application, allowing phones to run the program without an Internet connection.
The offline mode would be coming to Android shortly, according to Rita Chen, product manager of Google Maps for mobile.
The introduction of the new mapping service comes just as Apple is widely expected to drop Google's mapping application from iOS in favor of its own proprietary version. Maps is emerging as the next major battleground for technology companies, with services, recommendations, and advertisements built around location.
The service would work whether the phone was abroad and without access … Read more
PayPal announced today it is partnering with 15 more U.S. retailers aiming to get shoppers to use PayPal's offline payment system.
"Consumers are relying on technology now more than ever to simplify their lives when it comes to shopping and paying, and retailers must adapt to this shift or risk becoming irrelevant," PayPal President David Marcus wrote in a blog post. "Innovative retailers everywhere are looking for ways to improve the shopping experience, extend loyalty programs and better engage with their customers."
The new retailers include, Abercrombie & Fitch, Advance Auto Parts, Aeropostale, American … Read more
Color me unsurprised that Sony's PlayStation Vita just got its own app for the company's cloud-based Music Unlimited subscription service, since a similar offering for the PSP already exists.
Nonetheless, the first version of the app for Vita features excellent aesthetics with the complement of intuitive and thorough controls (see if you agree with me after watching the demo video below). Album art and channel listings clearly pop on the large OLED screen. I found it easy to scroll around, explore music, and save tracks "from the cloud" to a storage card.
Overall, the experience seems very mature for a service often left out of the music service conversation.
Speaking of saving tunes, the Vita Music Unlimited app supports offline playback through playlist/channel caching. Users of the Android version of the music service can now listen to music offline through Music Unlimited as well. … Read more
The new Google Docs update in the Android Market added offline viewing for Android phones and tablets.
Offline access is essential when you're not able to connect to the Internet, like on a plane or in a network dead zone. Here's how to use the new Google Docs offline feature for Android:
First, make sure you have the latest Google Docs app installed on your Android device.Mark files for offline use
Android phone On your Android phone, long-press on a document and select Make available offline.
Android tablet On your Android tablet, you have three ways to … Read more
The other day someone asked me how to save a copy of a Web page. The person wanted to preserve the content of the page--text and images--in a local file rather than simply bookmark the page's link to the hosting server.
There are many reasons why you would want to save the text and other content of a Web page. For example, you may want to access the information without a network connection. You may also want to record the page's content lest the information become unavailable for whatever reason. Pages go offline all the time, some never … Read more
Google has been on-again, off-again with providing its Gmail users with offline access, but today it announced a new, HTML5-based solution for people who need to manage their inbox off the grid.
After months of testing, Google is rolling out offline access for Docs, Calendar, and Gmail. While Docs and Calendar aren't immediately available, Chrome users can enable Gmail offline right now. Here's how:
Head to the Chrome Web Store and install the new Offline Gmail app. Once installed, open a new tab and launch the app.
You'll be asked to allow offline mail storage. This is … Read more
After months of delay, Google this week will let people use Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Calendar even when they're offline, a key feature for making the company's cloud-computing vision more practical.
The company is a powerful proponent of the Web-based services, but the practical reality is there are plenty of times when Google's vision falls victim to the practical limits of Internet access. For Google's services to fully compete with Microsoft Office, it must work even in Internet dead zones like subways, airplanes, and rural regions.
And Google knows it. It's been testing the … Read more
Very often, Google and I see things the same way. Just as often, though, Google's vision and my practical reality seem to be worlds apart.
Where we see eye to eye is in the effects the Internet is having on business and personal life. Where we don't is on a crucial stumbling block on the way: Internet access. The physical infrastructure and access fees are still holding back the promise of full-fledged cloud computing.
I base this pronouncement after spending more than a month moving from England to France, vacationing in France, working from Michigan, and fighting canceled … Read more