Google Mail has added a new Labs tab to the interface. It leads to a bunch of hacks and tools that Google want to test out with the email client. Clever engineering as ever, release early, test and implement or discard.
To use them, you just click on the Enable button on the right and off you go. Disable via the same panel.
There’s a couple of interesting ones up at the moment out of the dozen or so on offer. Mouse gestures let you navigate your mailbox with the rodent and a deliciously named Email Addict which blocks the screen for 15 minutes to force you to ‘take a break from email’. Fab stuff, but do be aware that by using them you are a Google lab rat, and risk breaking something at any moment.
Google Mail engineers come up with new ideas all the time. Google Mail 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 may change, break or disappear at any time…If (when) a Labs feature breaks, and you’re having trouble getting into your account, there’s an escape hatch — just go to http://mail.google.com/mail/?labs=0 and Labs will be temporarily disabled.