GMail is putting in place a couple of changes. Plugins that will definitely make a lot of sense to some users. They call it the next evolution of “20% Time”.
Michael Arrington From Tech Crunch did a Post on the New Features – here they are:
Quick Links: adds a box to the left column that gives you 1-click access to any bookmarkable url in Gmail. You can use it for saving recent searches, important individual messages, and more
Superstars: adds additional star icons
Pictures in Chat: see your friends’ profile pictures when you chat with them
Fixed Width Font: adds an option to the reply dropdown menu that lets you view a message in fixed width font
Custom Keyboard Shortcuts: lets you customize keyboard shortcut mappings. Adds a new settings tab from which you can remap keys to various actions
Mouse gestures: Use your mouse to navigate with gestures. Hold right click and move the mouse left to go to a previous conversation, move right to go to the next conversation, and move up to go back to the inbox view. It works best on Windows. (Tried to install Mouse Gestures for my Mac OS but it just does not work)
Signature tweaks: Places your signature before the quoted text in a reply
Take A Break: locks you out of your Gmail for 15 minutes (you can refresh to get out of it). When it locks you out it says, “Break time! Take a walk, get some real work done, or have a snack. We’ll be back in 14 minutes!”
Users can enable or disable these modules.
The description on the top of the Labs tab in settings: 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 might change, break, or disappear at any time.
GMail Labs is basically a breeding ground for new GMail pugins just like Google Labs is for All Google Products. So basically any Googler, (once he/ she gets the code checked) can upload the plugin for a review by users. So as the home page says – a plugin will either be gone sometimes and come back again, go back and never come back, or stay forever.
Quite interesting – will keep a lot of Googlers busy with their 20% Time. Very few companies can club their external product activities with their HR Initiatives and Culture Augmentations so well.