Google revealed it will discontinue development of Gears, a browser plug-in that enables special features such as local storage and geolocation services. The search giant explained that the emerging adoption of new web standards like HTML offer increasingly viable alternatives to the specific capabilities that are provided by Gears.
"If you've wondered why there haven't been many Gears releases or posts on the Gears blog lately, it's because we've shifted our effort towards bringing all of the Gears capabilities into web standards like HTML5," wrote Gears team member Ian Fette on the official Gears blog. "Gears has helped us deliver much-desired functionality, such as the ability to offer offline access in GMail, to a large number of users. Long term, we expect that as browsers support an increasing amount of this functionality natively and as users upgrade to more capable browsers, applications will make a similar migration."