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GSMA Mobile World Congress: Google demos offline Gmail on iPhone

Antony Savvas

Google has demonstrated a version of its Gmail messaging system for the Apple iPhone that can be used offline with no network connection.

At the GSMA Mobile World Congress, Vic Gundotra, Google's vice-president of engineering, demonstrated a "technical concept" of Gmail when an iPhone was offline.

In January, Google released an offline version of Gmail for desktops and laptops. Like that technology, the mobile phone version runs in a web browser, not as a native application.

The software demonstrated by Gundotra allowed him to browse and read e-mail after he switched the phone into Airplane mode, which sees the wireless network switched off.

Although offline applications can't retrieve new data from the network, they can synchronise with the server when network access is restored. With the Gmail system, when offline, e-mail is stored in a local database on the phone to speed processing.

As well demonstrating the system on the iPhone, Gundotra showed it working on the new HTC Magic Android phone, soon to be launched by Vodafone.

Read more about GSMA Mobile World Congress 2009 >>


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