Sometime ago we had posted on the cool lab features to make your Gmail more functional. Today Gmail has changed. Its cleaner, faster and has a bunch of new features available by default. And it is the people’s favorite email client. The folks at Google Labs have not left behind, many lab features have been developed and some of them are so good that they are ought to be part of GMail by default.
We are going to look through 5 new labs features that are in the “Must Have” category. By the way you can check out the available labs under settings page in Gmail.
Right Side Chat
One of the things that made Gmail so popular is the ability to communicate to your contacts or friends right from the email interface. Google Talk is embedded into the the GMail interface under the Chat header. GMail automatically adds the contacts you have had email conversation with into the list of Chat contacts.
One of the downfalls though is the placement of the Chat sidebar. Often it’s being hidden by the labels sidebar. Moreover the left portion of the GMail interface is already cluttered with a lot of stuff, like the Compose button, Contacts, Tasks etc. Sometimes you had to unnecessarily scroll down through the Chat sidebar even though you are looking for friend who chats with you frequently.
This GMail Labs feature will move the chat to the right side of the GMail interface. This is convenient as it utilizes the space that is available at plenty in your GMail, plus now you can have a quick glance over all the contacts available online and chat with them. So go ahead and move the Chats to the right with this labs feature.
Native email clients such as Outlook or Thunderbird had the feature to instantly view the email conversation with just a click. Gmail though does not natively support that. Also you do not get to see the rest of the emails while reading one of them.
The Preview Pane feature adds a preview pane right next to the list of emails you have received in your inbox or any other folder. Any email conversation on click opens up in the preview pane, generally to the right. This makes reading your emails faster and also provide more context.
Inserting Inline Images
This Labs feature allows you to embed any image directly into your email content, without necessarily having to attach the image. This enables a better reading experience for your recipients. You can also adjust the size of the image being inserted into the email, with options of small, medium and large.
At the same time one can copy or drag any image from a website and directly insert into the email too!
Google Docs and Maps Previews
This feature eliminates the need to open any Google Docs that is being shared with you in the email. You can quickly glance over the attached documents on the fly.
Also you can view the addresses of the sender of the mail or those in the email content in Google Maps instantly with Google Maps Previews.
SMS (Text Messaging) in Chat
Google has long introduced the SMS Chat feature, where you can send free SMS to your friends on most mobile carriers. With this labs feature, you can enable this right in you GMail Chats Sidebar!
Hope you have found these Labs additions useful. Do let us know your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.