A Look at Google Gears Working with Google Reader

May 31, 2007 • 7:03 am | comments (14) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Other Google Topics

Yesterday, at Search Engine Land I wrote the story on Google Gears just from the press release, so I didn't have time to play with it before hand. The Google blog mentioned it, and they told us about the new Google Gears Blog. But I wanted to show you how it works, and since Google Reader is one of the first web applications that utilize Google Gears, I will show you Google Gears with Google Reader in action.

Step 1: Download the Google Gears extension to your browser.
Step 2: Enable it, when it asks you to.
Step 3: Google to Google Reader and click the offline icon and agree.
Google Gears with Google Reader

Notice I have 6 items unread in the general news folder.

Step 4: Clicking on the green icon with download all your unread feeds into the Google Gears format. Google Gears will then download them, showing you this status display.

Step 5: When it is done downloading, you will see that green icon turned grey.

Step 6: Go offline by unplugging your internet or using this little trick.

Step 7: Browse your unread feeds offline.

Notice how I now have 3 unread items in the general news folder, so I read three items offline.

Step 8: Go back online.

Step 9: Sync back up with Google Reader by clicking the green icon.

A status display will come up quickly, like in step 4.

Step 10: Google Reader will load up again.

Step 11: Continue browsing online...

Notice it removed those 3 feeds I read in online mode.

With Google Gears, Google is trying to create a standard for working with online web applications in an offline mode. This can be applied to anything. Just see the Google Gears API Developer's Guide.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld, DigitalPoint Forums and Google Gears Forum.

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Sumit Gupta

06/01/2007 07:16 am

thanks rusty for giving us such tutorial ,it has given me the insight to use the google reader in offline mode i wont wait more to use it


06/01/2007 11:40 am

It's too bad you can't read the full article while offline, eh?


06/01/2007 01:55 pm

Rusty, That's awesome. Just like you, I mostly wrote about Google Gears and then dabbled with the available samples at Google Gears but didn't really have the time to try out anything on my own yet. Thanks for giving all of us a jumpstart! Keep up the great work you're doing. WebGyver ------------------------------------------------------------ Making web stuff out of bubble gum and kitchen chemicals. www.webgyver.info


06/01/2007 02:01 pm

I used this to read my feeds on the train yesterday. There is definitely a lot of potential here for me to get a lot of work done on the train, but it ended up not helping me at all. First off, too many feeds do not include the actual content. My del.icio.us and Digg RSS feeds are basically useless in offline mode. Even when content is included in the feed, it doesn't get downloaded. No images, embedded videos or podcasts were saved for offline mode. In the end, I was able to read a handful of articles on the train, and I was able to "star" a bunch of feed items to read later. In the end though, it didn't actually buy me anything. Perhaps if I subscribed to a bunch of blogs that included content in the feed, I could read a lot of articles on the train and then do the rest of my feeds later. Although, that won't actually save me any time on my current feed reading, it will just allow me to read a bunch of things I don't presently subscribe to.


06/01/2007 02:07 pm

This is great but also check out the Google Reader tricks found here: http://listafterlist.com/tabid/57/listid/7050//Google+Reader+Tricks+of+the+Trade.aspx


06/01/2007 03:51 pm

If only there were feed readers that weren't browser based....


06/01/2007 04:45 pm

anyone remember the old Pointcast app (from around 1997) that allowed you to download a ton of content and read it entirely offline (like on a train commute). i'd love to have something like that again - Gears sounds like its a step in the right direction to delivering that.

Mark Keller

06/05/2007 10:05 pm

Jacques Habra created Google GEARS six years ago! Insider Business Journal, September 2001: http://www.noospheric.com/about/images/Habra_Insider_4OCT01.pdf Detroit News, January 2002: http://www.noospheric.com/about/images/Habra_DetNews_1JAN02.pdf Automotive Industries, May 2002: http://www.noospheric.com/about/images/Habra_AutoInd_MAY02.pdf


06/11/2007 05:17 pm

The "Story" link has an extra %22 incorrectly appended.

Mike Romney

06/14/2007 10:37 pm

I was an intern at Pointcast when they came out with the PCN application, which started the content-push craze. After they crashed and burned, I switched to using AvantGo, which does pretty much the same thing as Gears.


01/07/2009 01:46 am

I have a question: if now i download all the feeds on my laptop, then I switch it off and later on I want to read those feeds without having to connect, how do I do? I tried and as soon as I close my browser I cannot go on Google reader anymore in offline mode.


01/07/2009 01:47 am

I have a question: if now i download all the feeds on my laptop, then I switch it off and later on I want to read those feeds without having to connect, how do I do? I tried and as soon as I close my browser I cannot go on Google reader anymore in offline mode.


06/28/2009 12:07 am

I have always heard about gears but never tried it thank you for helping me.


08/19/2010 04:41 pm

I think this doesnt work anymore with the current bersion on Google Reader.

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