If you’re a mobile warrior and have been known to set up shop at your local coffee shop to get some things done, you are at the mercy of that businesses Wifi to connect to the outside world. If for whatever reason, you can’t get a decent signal or no signal at all, you may have to relocate. If you use Gmail (or Google Apps) to send and receive emails and prefer the Google Chrome browser, you may just be able to read emails and do serveral additional functions by downloading the Offline Google Mail app from the Chrome Web Store.
If you’re cool with the above prerequisites, then reading emails from your inbox of other correspondence stashed away in a folder is still do-able if you don’t have an internet connection. Offline Google Mail (you have to call it that when searching the Chrome Web Store, because “Gmail” just won’t cut it) is a free Chrome web app that gives you the same look and feel if you were visiting m.gmail.com using a smartphone/tablet device. Simple and to the point, users are presentented with a two-pane layout. In the left pane, you can browse your inbox and other locations where you put your mail. On the right pane, you can view your actual messages and complete most of your email tasks (reply, archive, compose a new message, or file a message).
Of course, these actions won’t be completed until you link with the internet (auto sync), but I can see offline email access being very useful or at least, come through in the clutch, if you need to search through your current email for a confirmation email, flight information, etc. and you just can’t seem to connect to a local Wifi hotspot. And honestly, I can’t blame you for NOT wanting to pay for day’s worth or internet access for quick check into your “travel” folder in Gmail…
So if you don’t think you need a Mifi device, and won’t bother with ponying up for the hotspot feature on your smartphone, you still have one last line of defense against “lack of connectivity” when trying to get things done on the move with the Offline Google Mail app available for free in the Chrome Web Store.