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Gears for Safari Official, Untethers Macs From the Web

Gears kicked off its first release for Apple’s Safari browser Monday.

Gears for Safari follows versions already in every other mainstream browser except Opera. Down the list, it means Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Chrome can unplug its ethernet and wifi cord and still access a local copy of sites like Google Docs, Google Reader, Zoho.com or Remember the Milk.

As we’ve also pointed out in a prior post, it makes a pretty decent way to download web applications to your desktop too.

Gears is the HTML 5 standards compliant add-on for browsers too slow to pick up on HTML 5′s offline downloading feature. In fact, Gears is even ahead of HTML 5 in some features both pressing HTML 5 on to keep up and also making the feature’s development a little less necessary.

To offline a site or a site feature, Gears is dependent on users downloading and installing Gears (in every browser except Chrome, where Gears is built in) and on developers to integrate the Gears API into their web site code.

While initiated by Google, Gears was offloaded to the open source community (ie. dropped the “Google” from its title) earlier this year in an effort to kickstart development, further standards and promote adoption. It’s not particularly clear how much of Gears is still Google. At the very least, Gears releases are still announced on Google’s blog.

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