Maybe this explains while GMail has been so flaky of late. Google has finally added (although it is still experimental) and offline mode to GMail using its own Google Gears. You’ll have to flip the switch in the Google Labs section of your settings and this looks like another phased rollout as I don’t see it available yet here.
According to the Official GMail Blog, once you flip the switch, Gears will download a local cache of your mail. You can then work with your mail while you aren’t connected to the big cloud in the sky. Supposedly this is an intelligent switch over as GMail senses when you’re connected or not and switches to offline mode automatically. If you choose to send an email while offline it will be stored in the Outbox and sent the next time you’re connected. There’s even a ““flaky connectionÃ¢â‚¬Â mode for those on an unreliable connection.
Like I said, I haven’t had a chance to check this out yet. Kevin Tofel on jkOnTheRun has done some testing and has a good report here.