Google is making Google Gears available on mobile phones, an application programming interface that allows users store Web application data on their handsets.

A version of the Google Gears browser extension software is available to developers, according to a Monday blog posting by Google Mobile Product Manager Charles Wiles.

The technology, which is aimed at mobile application developers, is currently only available for Microsoft Internet Explorer Mobile on Windows Mobile 5 and 6 devices, but there will be versions for other platforms, including Google's own Android system, Wiles wrote.

Google Gears allows users to continue to work with Web-based applications even if they are not connected to the internet. Data and documents are saved on the device so users can see and work on them any time.

The technology, currently in beta testing, is already available for desktops and notebooks, with versions for Internet Explorer on Windows XP and Vista, and for Firefox on XP, Vista, MacOS and Linux. Gears for Mobile is a port of that software.

One of the goals of Google Gears is to provide a standard mobile development platform, the Web, so that mobile developers don't have to write and maintain code for multiple mobile operating systems.

We've noticed that developing native clients for the Google properties [on different operating systems] is usually a very time consuming and complicated operation, said Google engineer Andrei Popescu in a YouTube video from GoogleDevelopers.

The code base tends to be quite large and maintaining it while trying to compile it with four or five different compilers is a lot of work and requires a lot of experience.