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Check your Gmail offline

While Google's Gmail has a lot of perks, it always had one big flaw. Because the email service is browser-based, it relied on users being online. No Internet connection? No email. There were some clever hacks to get around this, but for most people, being offline meant you couldn't even look at old letters.

Last night, Google announced a solution.

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Recent software called Gears preserves online content even when you're knocked off. Paired with Gmail, Gears saves your inbox into the browser's cache. When you're offline, it saves changes to your hard drive. Then, when the Internet connection returns, it dials home to Google, looks for new email, and updates the servers if you've made any changes.

This quick video walkthrough explains how it works:

Not everyone can use this feature right away. Google will roll it out to patches of Gmail accounts. My personal account is not yet on the list. So, readers, have you tried it out? What do you think?