It is rare but a Google-based technology that has become obsolete, as Google has decided to halt any further development on it. The technology in question is Google Gears.

Gears was positioned by Google as the integral cog of most Google applications throughout its lifetime. Gears enabled users to continue using Google apps even if they lost connection or chose to go offline. With Google Gears, one could synchronize with the online version as soon as a connection was re-established again. In addition to this, it offered an enhanced browsing experience to the user as well.

Gears came under the spotlight recently when the delay in producing a Mac version of the Chrome browser became unbearably long. It became evident that Gears, an integral part of Chrome, was not functioning properly on Apple’s new Snow Leopard OS. Whether this technical incompatibility was one that could not be solved genuinely or an excuse (as conspiracy theorists like to believe) is not something that is clear even at this time. Thus, Google made an announcement, that Gears would no longer be developed further and that it would be dropped due to the advancements made in HTML5.

The announcement made sense as HTML5 incorporates much of the functionality of Gears as well as other features. The fact that this would be a universally accepted standard also went against Gears in a sense. Google will continue supporting all implementation of Gears that are in existence, so all is not lost.