We’ve waited a while for it, but Google has finally launched an offline version of Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Docs. We’re already putting it to good use.

To get started with offline capability, you’ll need to use the Google Chrome web browser and install three offline access apps (one for Mail, one for Docs and one for Calendar) from the Chrome Web Store, a quick and easy process.

Once installed, the web apps will recognise when your PC or laptop is offline and ask you whether you wish to continue using Gmail, Calendar or Docs.

Gmail is the most advanced app so far, allowing you to view your mail from the last time you were online. You can also write new emails and reply to mails whilst offline and anything in your outbox will be sent once you reconnect. It’s a good system when you absolutely need to have access to your stored email whilst offline, and, as with anything Google nowadays, it will get better over time.

Google Calendar and Google Docs let you seamlessly transition between online and offline modes.

When you’re offline in Google Calendar, you can view events from your calendar(s) – in settings you can set the calendars you want to have offline access to. At present you can only view the next month of appointments, and you can’t make any new appointments until you are online, but Google are working on further enhancements.

With Google Docs Offline you can view documents and spreadsheets. Unfortunately offline editing isn’t ready yet, but by all accounts it’s not far away.