Here is a list of 8 free Gmail Labs you must give a try.
Gmail has been revamped by Google many times, and the great part is that it has an interesting Labs feature, which allow users to use its experimental features that are still under development. This not only help Gmail users to utilize the benefits of these features in their earlier stage, but also provide a feedback to engineers based on which these features can be made permanent or terminated.
Here we are going to cover Canned Responses, Undo Send, Preview Pane, Green Robot, SMS (text messaging) in Chat, Custom Keyboard Shortcuts, Right-side chat, and Unread Message Icon.
Since Labs are just the experimental features of Gmail, there’s no guarantee how long they would exist in your account. So don’t expect you would find them all whenever you access Gmail Labs; they might disappear anytime.
Let’s start by understanding how to enable any Gmail Labs Feature:
To access Gmail Labs, just go to your GMail and click on gear icon on right side of the page. In the menu that opens, click on “Settings”. You will see many tabs, with one of them called “Labs”. You find all the GMail Labs features here. Just click on radio button “Enable” in front of any feature to enable it.
Now let’s see some interesting GMail Labs features that you can try:
Canned Responses in GMail:
Canned Responses is a GMail labs feature that lets you quickly send pre-written messages to a number of people. You can setup multiple canned responses and choose from any of them to send a quick reply. In addition, Canned responses work with filters as well. So, you can setup a filter that incoming mails that meet a particular criterion automatically get a canned response. We have covered in detail how to send canned responses right from their Gmail account. Just enable it and find the option listed under the drop arrow present at the lower-right end of the Compose New Mail window.
Undo Send in GMail:
You have typed an email, have just clicked on the send button, and suddenly realized there was something else you needed to add in the mail! Want to undo send? Try Undo Send Lab, an amazing Gmail Lab that lets you undo the sent mails and save them back as drafts. Remember: this works only within few seconds. After that, you would no longer be able to undo send. So undo instantly in case you need to.
Preview Pane in GMail:
Another interesting Lab, Preview Pane, allows you to have a quick preview of what’s written inside a mail, without even having to open it. That is, once you enable this Lab in your Gmail account, you would preview your mails just by clicking on them. It basically adds a preview pane to your mailbox, which you can split either vertically or horizontally. If you choose not to split, your mails would open up in the normal way, disabling the preview feature.
Want to know whether your buddy is on Android when online? Enable Green Robot Lab in your Gmail account and get a robot sign instead of the traditional circle when your friend is using Android. The Lab also enables you to identify if the other person is having a cam on his/her device, by showing a webcam icon against his/her name on the chat list.
SMS (text messaging) in Chat:
Another awesome Lab, SMS (text messaging) in Chat lets you send and receive text messages in Chat. That means, you can add a phone number(s) to your Gmail chat and send messages to that number, right from your chat window. The Lab also allows you to receive text messages and have a conversation with your friend using your Gmail account. First 50 messages are absolutely free. The Lab works in selected countries (US and India included) for selected mobile operators.
Custom Keyboard Shortcuts:
Keyboard shortcuts help in speeding up work to a great extent and that’s why Gmail provides some pre-defined shortcuts associated with common actions to help you work faster. If you want to customize these shortcuts, you can use the Custom Keyboard Shortcuts Lab to overwrite the default keyboard shortcut mapping of Gmail, and choose your own set of custom shortcuts. The Lab also allows you to revert any changes and restore the default shortcuts with one click.
Move Chat Box to Right Side in GMail:
If you have lot of mail folders on the Left pane of your Gmail account, it becomes clumsy. Right-side chat Lab helps in freeing up a little bit of space by moving the chat window to the right side of your inbox, so that you can easily have an instant chat with your buddies without having to look around for their names in the tiny chat window on the Left pane.
Unread Message Icon:
The Unread Message Icon Lab enables you to have a quick glance at the number of your unread messages by looking at the tab’s icon. Though Gmail automatically shows this number when have your inbox opened, the Lab can be useful if you are somewhere else in your account and are currently working in some other tab.
These were the top 8 free Gmail Labs that you should try to enhance your Gmail-ing experience. But as I have already mentioned, they might get discontinued anytime and appear missing in your Gmail Labs. So go give them a try before they slip away from your Gmail account.