It's a mobile zoo out there. If you've ever tried coding up a mobile client application, you've probably noticed that the huge variety of mobile operating systems makes it tough to build rich applications that work on every device. We face the same challenges. But what if developers could deploy applications directly to mobile browsers rather than develop native applications? That would simplify the development process, as developers could use the same coding skills to create mobile applications. Even better, if these mobile web applications could work offline, users would be able to use them when they are disconnected from the network.

Developers, look no further. Today we're announcing the launch of Google Gears for mobile, a mobile browser extension for creating rich web applications for mobile devices. The first version is now available for Internet Explorer Mobile on Windows Mobile 5 and 6. It's a fully functional port of Google Gears v0.2 that can be used to develop offline capability into your mobile web applications. You can also create slick and responsive applications by hiding latency issues through controlled caching of data and storage of information between sessions. We're also working to bring Google Gears for mobile to Android and other mobile platforms with capable web browsers.

There are already a handful of Windows Mobile web apps that use Google Gears for mobile, such as the personal finance service Buxfer and online applications provider Zoho.  Read more about these applications and how they use Google Gears for mobile on the Google mobile blog.

For more on the vision for Google Gears for mobile and its origins, watch this video.