Gmail offline–not as easy as using toothpaste

Tonight I’m getting on an 18 hour flight with no WiFi, so this morning I spent 20 minutes trying and failing to first download, then to open, then re-find the Offline Gmail app from Google. Which has changed since it was part of Gears a while back and now only works on Chrome–too much consternation from those who’d been using it the old way (as I did on an older computer). Except it doesn’t work. Or at least I can’t find it to make it work–I cant even find the place to find the apps I’ve downloaded from the Chrome store (yes, it’s the only one I’ve downloaded). This wouldn’t merit a mention on THCB until I read in a NY Times article about educating children without computers. In it is this priceless quote about computer technology from Alan Eagle, a senior Google employee who sends his kids to a school with no computers in it: “It’s supereasy. It’s like learning to use toothpaste,” Mr. Eagle said. “At Google and all these places, we make technology as brain-dead easy to use as possible. There’s no reason why kids can’t figure it out when they get older.” And that arrogance is the reason why Google will eventually fade. Clearly Mr Eagle has never used the Chrome App for offline Gmail. But perhaps he’ll come round to my house and help me find it!

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