I’m an avid user of everything that comes out the ‘Google Barn’, also Gmail Labs:
“Gmail Labs is a testing ground for experimental features that aren’t ready for primetime. They may change, break or disappear at any time.” ~ source: gmail.com
Labs is what makes Gmail THE best e-mail client bar none. I laugh at people who still use Hotmail, Squirrelmail, Outlook, Thunderbird, or any other e-mail client or POP3 box.
Here’s my list of currently enabled gmail labs:
- Authentication icon for verified senders; Displays a key icon next to authenticated messages from certain senders that spammers attempt to fake. Currently works for mail from PayPal and eBay only.
- Background Send: Let Gmail send your mail while you move on to more important things.
- Canned Responses: Email for the truly lazy. Save and then send your common messages using a button next to the compose form. Also automatically send emails using filters.
- Create a Document: Allows you to create a Google Document from an email conversation or a new blank document if your keyboard shortcuts are enabled by hitting ‘g’ then ‘w’.
- Custom date formats: Adds options to the general settings page allowing the date and time format to be changed independent of language. For example, you can use a 24-hour clock (14:57) or show dates with the day first (31/12/07).
- Filter import/expert: Export your mail filters as a file: back them up, share them, or save them before deleting so you can restore them later. Import one of these files to quickly add or restore filters.
- Flickr previews in mail: Shows photos previews whenever you receive a Flickr link in an email.
- Google Calendar Gadget: Adds a box in the left column which shows your Google Calendar. See upcoming events, locations, and details.
- Google Docs Gadget: Adds a box in the left column which displays your Google Docs. Shows recent docs, starred docs, and has fast search.
- Google Docs previews in mail: Shows previews of documents, spreadsheets and presentations directly in the email when you receive any link to a Google Doc. Also gives an option to open directly in Google Docs.
- Google Maps previews in mail: Shows Google Map previews of all the addresses found in an email.
- Inbox Preview: Show a simple, static preview of the inbox while loading.
- Inserting images: Allows you to insert images into a message body. You can upload and insert image files in your computer, or insert images by URLs. This lab will not work if you have offline enabled.
- Mark as Read Button: Tired of spending all that effort to click on the more actions menu every time you want to mark messages as read without reading them? Now just enable this lab and that is just a button click away!
- Message Sneak Peek: Peek into a conversation without opening it by right-clicking on a message in your inbox.
- Message translation: Uses Google Translate to translate messages you receive in other languages.
- Mouse Gestures: Use your mouse to navigate with gestures. Hold right-click and move the mouse left to go to a previous conversation, move it right to go to the next conversation, and move up to go back to the inbox view. Works best on Windows.
- Move Icon Column: Move the column containing the attachment and other icons over to the left hand side to make it more noticeable.
- Picasa previews in mail: Shows photos previews whenever you receive a Picasa link in an email.
- Pictures in chat: See your friends’ profile pictures when you chat with them.
- Quick Links: Adds a box to the left column that gives you 1-click access to any bookmarkable URL in Gmail. You can use it for saving frequent searches, important individual messages, and more.
- Quote Select Text: Quote the text you have selected when you reply to a message. (Now works with the mouse, too!)
- Refresh POP accounts: Fetch messages from your POP accounts on demand by using the refresh link on top of the inbox
- Signature Tweaks: Places your signature before the quoted text in a reply, and removes the “–” line that appears before signatures.
- Smart Labels: Automatically categorizes incoming Bulk, Notification or Forum messages. Filters are created to label mail with these categories and Bulk is filtered out of the Inbox by default. Use Settings -> Filters to modify these defaults or create new filters. Report mis-categorized email from the ‘Reply’ dropdown menu.
- Title Tweaks: Changes order of elements in the browser title bar from “Gmail – Inbox (20) – firstname.lastname@example.org” to “Inbox (20) – email@example.com – Gmail”. This way you are able (most of the time) to see if a new mail has arrived even if Gmail window is minimized.
- Undo Send: Oops, hit “Send” too soon? Stop messages from being sent for a few seconds after hitting the send button.
- Unread Message Icon: See how many unread messages are in your inbox with a quick glance at the tab’s icon. This lab only works with Chrome (version 6 and above), Firefox (version 2 and above), and Opera.
- Video chat enhancements: Enables new features in Gmail voice and video chat, including higher resolution and bigger windows, with more improvements coming over time
- Sender Timezone: Should I reply to this mail or just call the guy? Ooops… it’s 1 am. Sorry, I didn’t mean to disturb…
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