Google Gears, is/was software that enables more powerful web applications, by adding new features to your web browser. It allows some online files to be used offline. Released under the BSD license, Google Gears is free and open source software.
There are several major API components to Gears:
- A Database module (powered by SQLite), which can store data locally.
- A Desktop module, which lets web applications interact more naturally with the desktop.
- A Geolocation module, which lets web applications detect the geographical location of their users.
In 2010, the Gears team at Google announced that the development of Google Gears had stopped, as they are working on bringing all of the Gears capabilities into web standards like HTML5. Although development of new features has ceased, Google is planning to continue supporting Gears until they have developed a “simple, comprehensive” method for users’ data to be migrated to HTML5 features.
Google Team: “Our mission with Gears was to enable more powerful web applications. Over 5 releases, we added tons of APIs, enabling everything from offline access to parallel computation. Now that these features have all been adopted by browsers and have official W3C specs, they are available to more developers than we could have reached with Gears alone. There will be no new Gears releases, and newer browsers such as Firefox 4 and Internet Explorer 9 will not be supported. We will also be removing Gears from Chrome in Chrome 12. The code itself will of course remain open source, and anyone is free to use it.”
Seminar on Google Gears