Last night, Google announced and launched a new feature in Gmail called ‘Gmail Labs’. This feature allows Google employees to write mini-apps for Gmail for the users. From what I read, its any Google employee, not just Gmail developers. Google has this really cool ‘20% rule’, where 20% of your work time should be dedicated to doing something for the company other than your ‘regular’ job. So they opened up the Gmail code to all employees, and want them to make stuff!
Right now there are about 13 tools to choose from. Everything from pictures in chat, mouse gestures, to being able to play the old school game Snake! There is even one that will block your screen for 15 minutes to take a break!
You can get to the Lab by clicking on Settings, and then on Lab. They started rolling it out around 9PM Eastern last night, but I didn’t get it in my account until this morning. Im not really sure if I am going to use any of these just yet, but the possibilities are endless of course. Supposedly as new features are placed in the Lab, as the user base grows and code is double-and-triple checked, these features will eventually make it into the normal Gmail code base.
Now I just wish one of the people there would realize a to-do feature in gmail would be PRICELESS!