It has been a year since the launch of Google Gears, and we wanted to offer a glimpse into what’s changing, and what’s ahead.
First of all, to better reflect the open nature of this project, we’ve decided to rename ourselves. Henceforth, the project will be simply “Gears.” We want to make it clear that Gears isn’t just a Google thing. We see Gears as a way for everyone to get involved with upgrading the web platform.
Our first year focused on offline-enabling applications, but that was only the beginning. Our broader goal has always been to close the gap between web apps and native apps by giving the browser new capabilities. There is no shortage of web application pain points to be addressed! In its second year, Gears will begin to tackle some of these problems.
On the applications front, there have been a number of exciting developments. Today, MySpace is launching enhanced functionality for MySpace mail using Gears. They are using the original Gears Database API with Full Text Search to enable fast and easy search and sort capabilities. The latest build of WordPress also integrates Gears, to improve performance, and to let users manage their blogs offline. And as many of you know, the Google Docs team added offline capabilities just a few weeks ago.
Gears remains a completely open source project. We strongly support web standards, and we continue to work with the W3C and WHATWG committees to help define standards for browsers.
Finally, we want Gears to be available to everyone, regardless of platform or browser. To that end, we are currently adding Firefox 3 and Safari support. And Opera is working to support Gears on both desktop and mobile. These new platforms will nicely complement our current set: Internet Explorer and Firefox, across Windows, Mac, Linux, and even Windows Mobile.
We’re very excited about our progress this past year, and we have even bigger plans for 2008. All of you are welcome to jump in and join our fledgling community — we’re helping to push the web forward, and it’s a lot of fun! 🙂