08/31/2011 04:20 pm ET Updated Oct 31, 2011

Access Gmail, Google Docs, Calendar Offline With This New Chrome App

Want to access your Gmail without an Internet connection? There is now an app for that.

A Chrome app, to be precise.

Airplane passengers and wilderness hikers are rejoicing the world over, as Google has announced the imminent return of Offline Mode to Gmail, Google Docs and Google Calendar. First introduced in January 2009 for Gmail, offline mode was axed following Google's elimination of Google Gears in March 2011.

Now, however, offline support for Google's email, calendar and document editing services is coming back for users of Google's Chrome web browser. Offline versions of Google Docs and Calendar will be rolled out over the next week, while Gmail Offline is available today (August 31) by installing an app that can be found in the Google Chrome web store.

With Gmail Offline users will be able to read their email, compose replies and organize and archive their mail without an Internet connection. Basically, you can do everything except receive and send emails. Messages you compose are saved in Drafts and sent out the next time you get an Internet connection; received email is similarly downloaded whenever you are connected to the 'Net.

To use Gmail Offline, download the Gmail Offline Chrome app here. Open up a new tab (Ctrl + T in Windows, Command + T on a Mac) when you are logged in to Gmail, and click on the "Offline Google Mail" icon under "Apps." You are now looking at your offline Gmail account, which has a design that resembles the Gmail interface for tablets. Read, organize, archive and compose away, even if your wireless connection is non-existent.

Google Calendar and Docs will be getting their Offline capabilities some time this week, though, somewhat disappointingly, users will not yet be able to edit their documents in offline mode (Google is working on it, according to the blog post).