Google Reader Goes Offline

Google Reader now allows you to download up to 2000 posts and read them when Internet access is not available. I have dearly wanted this functionality, but thought that I wanted something that no one else did.  It seems I was very wrong.

Reading your feeds offline requires two things:

  • Google Reader as your feed reader
  • Installation of Google Gears

Google Gears, which of course, is in beta, is an open source extension which allows offline access for online services. Right now, it only works with Google Reader, but I’m assuming we will see other services go offline.

After the installation, downloading posts is as easy as clicking on a green button. After the download, the button turns gray, which tells you that you are now offline.  Close the browser.  When you open it again, you will see your outstanding feeds there, waiting for you to read.  You can’t, of course, link to other websites without Internet access. When you have Internet again, click on the gray button, which will synchronize your feeds again.

One thing that I couldn’t figure out was how to bring up the Google Reader web page when I was offline.  The way I did it was to make my Reader page my browser’s home page.  When I click on the browser, the offline Reader comes right up.  Since this wasn’t in the instructions, I know there must be another way to do this.  If anyone knows, please let me know!

I like this functionality so much, that I’ve switched to Google Reader.


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