I had the pleasure of taking a trip back to my home land of England to meet up with the team behind the Google Gears for Mobile product.

As someone who loves Web development, it is an exciting proposition to be able to use the Web platform to be able to develop applications on the mobile.

This release enables you to use the Gears 0.3 APIs on Windows Mobile devices. With this new version, not only do you have access to the Database, LocalServer, and WorkerPool APIs, but you can also create desktop shortcuts. Considering the disconnected nature and latency issues inherent to the mobile networks, these APIs allow you to deliver more responsive applications that can hide some of the problems.

Today, we saw the release of a new mobile version of Picasa Web Albums that uses these features. I got to sit down with Joe Walnes, tech lead of the mobile Picasa team. Joe and his team built both the Gears-enabled version of Picasa for the phone as well as the iPhone version that allows you to sit on the Tube and still flip through your family photos.

Joe tells us about his experience building the Gears application.



I have also put together an audio podcast consisting of interviews with not only Joe, but other members of the Gears team.

First, I talk to Charles Wiles, the Product Manager of the Google Gears for Mobile team. He gives us a high level view of the project in general, and this launch in particular. We also discuss the native abilities of Gears on the mobile, widget platforms, and future Gears developments.

Second, we hear from two engineers on the project, Dave Burke and Andrei Popescu. They go into detail on the platform, how you architect mobile Web applications, how you develop and debug applications, new APIs such as the Location API, and how Android fits in to the picture.

Finally, we hear again from Joe Walnes.

I am really excited about the prospect of building rich mobile applications using Web based technology.

You can download the episode directly, or subscribe to the show (click here for iTunes one-click subscribe).