For the past few months I’ve been using Google Reader instead of Bloglines. While this has nearly completed Google’s hegemony in my life, I made the switch because with the Greasemonkey script Better Gmail I can integrate Reader right into Gmail. Now there’s another reason I’m glad I made the transition. Google Gears is a new browser add-on from Google, enabling offline use of their online products. So far it only works with Reader but I’m sure that integration with Documents and Gmail isn’t far behind.
What can this do for you? If you’re with your laptop someplace and have a connection but won’t have a connection for much longer (e.g. boarding a plane), you can download the content of your RSS feeds (and soon Documents and Gmail!) by clicking on a little green arrow (upper right corner in this screen grab).
When you’re again connected, you click the arrow to sync what you’ve done with your online account. Nice! One could argue that a tool like this will continue to be less important as wireless connectivity becomes increasingly pervasive. This might be true, but until we’re all connected 100% of the time we want to be, being able to work offline might come in handy.
Google Mashup Editor
Only available to a small number of developers at this point, Google recently released Google Mashup Editor which is like Yahoo! Pipes (mentioned here) but perhaps a bit more text heavy.