Google is killing off support for Google Gears in the Chrome web browser today. The tool was the company’s first attempt at bridging the gap between desktop and web apps by offering offline access for some web applications. But the company plans to make the switch to HTML5 for offline access to Gmail, Google Docs, Google Reader, and other web applications.
That’s all well and good… but the transition isn’t yet complete. That means that after today, Chrome users won’t be able to Gmail’s offline capabilities in the Chrome web browser until the switch to HTML5 is complete.
Ironically, Google Gears will continue to work with Firefox 3.6 and Internet Explorer 8, which means that if you’re using an older web browser from one of Google’s competitors, you’ll be able to access a Google feature that’s no longer available using the company’s own web browser.