Google has officially unveiled its long waited “offline Gmail” free webmail service applicable for US and UK English users at this point of time. With this new service, users could still browse their Inbox, read email and even draft email while their connection is on the offline mode. The drafted mail will be sent out when the computer is connected to the internet again.

This offline Gmail feature can be easily activated via some simple setting. Users need to go to their Gmail account, click to “Settings”, thence go to “Labs” tab. Select Enable next to Offline Gmail and save changes before leaving. Once this feature is activated, technically the webmail service makes use of Google Gears to download a local cache of users’ mail. The cache is synchronized with Gmail’s servers when users are online. Once users go offline, Gmail will automatically switche to offline mode, and uses the data stored on the computer’s hard drive instead of the information sent across the network. Hence, users can still carry out the usual emailing activities even though they are offline.

Currently this new Office Gmail function is still touted as “experimental” and still under testing period. Check out the guide to enable Gmail Offline access.