Chrome gears for my desktop

Google Gears logoFor the last week, I’ve only used two browsers on my Windows PC – Internet Explorer 8 beta 2 and Google Chrome beta – and I’ve been really impressed at how these two browsers have shaken up my surfing. There’s plenty of sites on the ‘net comparing the two browsers (so I won’t do that here) but one thing I heard Paul Thurrott discussing with Leo Laporte on Windows Weekly (Episode 73) was the integration of Google Gears into the Chrome browser. I hadn’t realised that Chrome included Gears (although, now I come to think of it, the installation error I experienced when I was installing Chrome referred to Gears) and it is really cool.

Let me give you an example, a few minutes back, I had a power spike at home. The computers stayed on but my ADSL connection was dropped, as was the WiFi connection from my DNS server to the router… I didn’t even notice – I was happily writing a blog post in WordPress through Chrome and it kept on without missing a beat. Only when I tried to surf to some new sites did I realise there was a problem.

Creating a Google Gears application in Google ChromeBut it gets better (credits to Paul Thurrott for pointing this out) – if you click the drop down menu in Chrome with a file icon, you can select to create application shortcuts. This creates a standalone instance of the current page with optional icons on the desktop, quick launch bar or start menu. I now have Gears applications for Google Reader, Google Mail, Google Calendar and WordPress (I’m using the WordPress one to write this post).

Google Reader in a Chrome/Gears application

(The last time I was interested in things like chrome and gears, I was a teenager and the context would have been my bike…)

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