Google announced today (GigaOM story) an extension of Google Reader that allows you to read up to 2000 of your feeds offline or in a mixed connection environment. As a beta, the synch feature is manual, but open to development obviously. They also described this functionality as “[o]ne of the most frequently requested features for Google’s web applications”. Note that that request is for Google apps in general, not just Reader.
This is big news and a validation of the Apollo philosophy. While some have objected to the “airplane mode” of web applications, I personally believe there’s a huge market for people who work in spotty connectivity environments (like SE Michigan) and this is a very welcome effort from Google. It will be very interesting to see this space grow as more people wake up to the features and functionality that people are asking for.
Update: Even Dare Obasanjo thinks is cool. “Welcome to the future.”