Google cans Gears

Google has called off future development of Google Gears and will instead urge developers to use open standards in their web applications.

“We've shifted our effort towards bringing all of the Gears capabilities into web standards like HTML5,” blogged Google Gears manager Ian Fette.

Gears was released less than three years ago as a way to build faster, more complex web apps by shifting more of the load to users' desktops, enabling offline use. Gmail and Google Apps were early adopters, as were third-parties including Zoho and Wordpress.

Fette said that Google will now support Gears only as far as helping developers migrate their apps to upcoming standards such as HTML5, which contains much of the same functionality.

This courtesy will not be extended to Gears in Apple's Safari browser on OS X, from Snow Leopard up, which is losing support entirely. Internet Explorer and Firefox support will continue.

Google's own Chrome browser already natively supports some features of Gears, and other features will be replaced by standards-based versions shortly, Fette said.