Google is slowly rolling out the beta phase of offline versions of Google Docs and Calendar. Google released a Gmail offline app for Chrome that allows you to have full access to your Gmail whether you are connected to the Internet or not. They are now working on developing new features and allowing users to begin seeing them in action before releasing them to everyone.
If you have opted in for the testing for either of these services, you will be able to choose an offline mode by clicking on settings in Google Docs or Calendar. We will break down what you can do with each now so you do not have to wait to get a look at their offline modes
How to get started with Google Calendar offline
You should first download the app for Google Calendars for Chrome in the App Store. From there, you will be able to start using offline mode. Once installed, you want to login to your calendar. Click on the gear and select “Offline” from the drop down menu.
You will then be prompted to set up offline mode. Click “Get Started” to continue.
Now, you will be asked to enable the service. This gives you a brief heads up that Google will download your calendar to your computer. If you are using a shared or public computer, you do not want to enable Google Calendar offline as anybody could have access to your schedule. Click “Enable” to move forward.
Google Calendar will now sync itself to your computer. Depending on how much you use its calendar, it may take a few minutes for this process to complete.
Once completed, if you click on the gear icon again and you will see a green check icon near the Offline entry. This indicates you are offline.
It is important to note that as of now, you cannot make any changes, add events or work with any of the real settings behind Google Calendar. When you use it in offline mode, you simply have access to it and nothing more. For some users, this will be enough. For others, you may have to add to your calendar when you get back online.
If you click on “Offline,” you will be giving a tiny menu to either work with the settings for offline mode or to go back online.
Click on “Offline settings.”
The only real settings you have to work with are what calendars under that login you will have access to offline. Make sure the ones you want to work with are checked, then click “Save” to exit.
If you want to go back online with Google Calendar, simply click the gear. Then, “Offline” and finally “Disable offline calendar.”
How to start using Google Docs offline
If you want to start using Google Docs offline, you want to make sure install the Chrome app for the web store first. Then, you can log in to your Google Docs account.
Click on the gear icon to access your settings. You want to click on “Set up Docs offline.”
A message will pop up asking you to do two things: Allow offline apps and Install the Docs Chrome web app. Since you already installed the app, you simply have to click “Allow offline docs” to get started.
Again, if you are using a shared or public computer, you want to avoid using any of Google’s offline services otherwise your information could be accessed by whoever else uses that computer.
Keep in mind that you will only be able to view documents with Google Docs offline. You will essentially be in read-only mode when using it. Also, if documents are not synced properly during the process of going offline and you are disconnected from the Internet, you will not be able to retrieve them until you get back online.
Another message will pop up alerting you that Google Docs is syncing with your computer.
Once the process is finished, you can click on the gear icon again. Now, click on “View offline Docs.”
You will then be directed to the offline Google Docs portion of the service. From there, you can read anything you have uploaded that is synced.
Pros of Google Calendar and Docs offline:
- Gives you full access to your Calendar and Docs when disconnected from the Internet.
- Sync process does not take very long, even on large Calendars and Docs.
- Not available to all Google users, yet.
Cons of Google Calendar and Docs offline:
- Cannot create any new entries or edit anything synced to your computer.
- No real functions to interact with either service.
- Limited to rollouts amongst Google users for the time being.
What can we expect for Google Docs and Calendar offline?
Since Google released an all-inclusive version of Gmail that lets users actually interact with their e-mail, it stands to reason that eventually they will develop more friendly versions of Google Docs and Calendar for offline users. For now, if you need to know your schedule or want to read over documents but cannot connect to the Internet, utilizing the offline modes of Google Docs and Calendar can be beneficial.
Since both are in limited modes, for now, Google will most likely roll out more features and functionality in time to make them on par with Gmail offline. Are you using Google Docs or Calendar in offline mode, yet? If so, let us know what you think Google should make it better. We would love to hear your thoughts.