It appears that Google is just about finished rolling out its latest enhancement to Gmail and so far we like what we’re seeing. Gmail Labs was first announced last month and is exactly what you think it would be if you’ve ever played around with Google Labs before; a collection of experimental Gmail add-ons. Initially available only to US and UK users, we’re now getting word that other regions have gotten a taste of the Google juice as well. Google explains Gmail Labs as follows:
Gmail engineers come up with new ideas all the time. Gmail Labs is our place to try them out and get your feedback. None of these features are really ready for prime time yet, so they may change, break or disappear at any time.
Access to the new feature set can be found on the Labs tab under your Settings menu and there are currently 13 experimental features to play with. There are a few items of interest to us at this point and the first is Quick Links. Quick Links is essentially a Gmail-specific bookmarks toolbar. It gives you easy access to custom searches or anything else you might feel like bookmarking. It would be great if we could easily customize the sidebar and move the quick links box to the top however. The second Labs add-on we like is the ability to customize keyboard shortcuts. Enabling this feature will add a new tab to the settings menu where you can configure shortcuts to any keys you like. Finally, we like that Google has added a Mouse Gestures feature. Enabling it allows you to “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.” We’re huge fans of the easyGestures add-on for Firefox so this is right up our alley. So if you’re a Gmail user, and who isn’t these days, definitely spend a few minutes checking out the new Labs section.