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Print 17 comment(s) - last by Diesel Donkey.. on Feb 28 at 10:56 PM


One of the new Gmail additions -- search auto-complete -- helps you find stuff easier.  (Source: Google)

Forgotten attachments warnings are now included as well.  (Source: Google)

Google's vacation responder lets you automatically reply to messages, informing the sender that you're currently on vacation.  (Source: Google)
Several Google Labs features "graduate" to full release status

Google Labs, the research and development branch at Google, is always dreaming up wild and intuitive new services and improved versions of existing ones.  Typically those efforts are rolled into existing projects, or even occasionally released wholesale as a new service.

Gmail just received its second major Labs-inspired upgrade in the last couple weeks, following the rocky addition of Google Buzz

The new upgrade introduces six Labs features.  The first is the addition of autocomplete to the search bar.  The search bar will now automatically fill in email addresses or subject lines when you start typing in the search bar.  It also allows users to search using Google's labeling system.  The search upgrade currently only works in English.

Another useful feature is the forgotten attachment detector.  If you type a phrase such as "I've attached" or "attachments included" in your email and there's no attachments, it prompts you whether you want to add the forgotten attachment before sending the message.  That should save some embarrassing second emails

For those sending URLs, another improvement is the inclusion of a YouTube preview service, which converts URL's in Gmail messages to mini YouTube players.  Similar previews for Flickr and Picasa were 
not included in this update, but can still be found in Google Labs.  The Flickr preview reportedly works sporadically.

Another improvement is the inclusion of custom label colors.  And rounding off the improvements is a "vacation responder", which will automatically reply to your emails when you're away on vacation.

Google also took the opportunity to throw out some Labs candidates that didn't seem so good.  It tossed fixed-width font; muzzle, which trimmed chat contacts' status messages; e-mail addict, which imposed a 15-minute screen block to get people to take a break; random signature, which dropped quotations into your e-mail; and location in signature, which would add your computer-detected city and country to e-mail.  

Most of these drops seem like good ideas -- the e-mail addict certainly could get annoying, and the location in signature was a privacy nightmare.  The only one that was a bit disappointing was the loss of the random signature, which if done well could have been pretty fun.

For Labs users many quirky additions still remain, including Back to Beta, which restores the "beta" tag that Gmail long carried.  They can also fire up a quick game of Old Snakey, a web rendition of the popular cell phone/calculator game/classic computer game.  And there's also the infamous Mail Goggles feature that makes you do math problems before you can send late night emails to prevent embarrassing drunken messaging.



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Old
By bradmshannon on 2/25/10, Rating: 0
RE: Old
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 2/25/2010 10:52:15 AM , Rating: 3
They have been moved from "Google Labs" where you had to enable it yourself to the full production GMail product.


RE: Old
By bradmshannon on 2/25/2010 10:57:00 AM , Rating: 2
Cool, I've really enjoyed a lot of the features in the Lab. Good stuff.


RE: Old
By rudy on 2/25/2010 4:10:14 PM , Rating: 2
I am pretty sure I never enabled autocomplete in google labs.


RE: Old
By therealnickdanger on 2/25/2010 10:57:58 AM , Rating: 2
We're not all as cool as you! I didn't know. :(


RE: Old
By bradmshannon on 2/25/2010 11:02:15 AM , Rating: 2
It's ok.


RE: Old
By Spivonious on 2/25/2010 11:37:20 AM , Rating: 5
I'm amazed these weren't in there already. Especially vacation responder. How long has Hotmail had that? 10 years?


RE: Old
By geekgod on 2/25/2010 12:52:26 PM , Rating: 2
My thoughts exactly. Why is this even "news" ?


RE: Old
By theapparition on 2/25/2010 1:18:11 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah, but this is Google.

They automatically log what destinations you've searched, scan your email for the trip you booked, automatically friended you to others going to the same destination, sets the vacation responder automatically, and prepared a slew of targeted advertisements, just for you, when you get back.


Feature Request
By grandpope on 2/25/2010 3:08:09 PM , Rating: 2
I'd like to know why gmail has all these ridiculous features (like old snakey), but you still can't sort by columns.




RE: Feature Request
By mongoosesRawesome on 2/25/2010 7:27:48 PM , Rating: 4
Sorting is not something google is interested in adding. Remember - they are a search company.


RE: Feature Request
By TheMouse on 2/27/2010 12:16:16 AM , Rating: 2
But we still need to be able to sort our search results! Seriously search is great... and I'd choose search over sorting any day..... but not even Google has a search good enough to replace sorting. It's not always about how effective a single technology can be... but about how humans want to interact with their data. Sorting is intuitive and just plain human nature... not even Google can change human nature...


Ideas blatantly ripped off from Thunderbird 3.0
By thebeastie on 2/28/2010 5:55:42 AM , Rating: 2
The keyword "attached,etc" reminder in an email came from Thunderbird 3.0
I can't believe it wasn't mentioned in this report or by any one else.

Jesus this is a disgrace, doing an report about how great Google is when it is just ripping off other peoples ideas.
Guess you guys really know your industry.




By Diesel Donkey on 2/28/2010 10:56:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Another useful feature is the forgotten attachment detector. If you type a phrase such as "I've attached" or "attachments included" in your email and there's no attachments, it prompts you whether you want to add the forgotten attachment before sending the message. That should save some embarrassing second emails

Where in that paragraph does it say that the "attachment idea" is a new one? As far as I can tell it merely claims that it's a useful feature. Why is that so offensive?


Vacation Responder old news?
By DKantUno on 2/25/2010 12:46:48 PM , Rating: 3
The vacation responder has been there forever if I'm not mistaken. Didn't care for it earlier, but had used it some 3-4 months back and I had DEFINITELY not enabled it in Labs.




dropped
By IdBuRnS on 2/25/2010 2:18:44 PM , Rating: 2
"Most of these drops seem like good ideas -- the e-mail addict certainly could get annoying, and the location in signature was a privacy nightmare."

It's not like either of those were turned on by default. If someone wanted either they had to enable each themselves...




Where is LDAP?
By drzoo2 on 2/25/2010 1:12:33 PM , Rating: 1
There is native iCal support. Why no LDAP?

z




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