Starting at 6PM Pacific Time tonight, Google will start rolling out Gmail Labs, an experimental area of new Gmail features that will be familiar and very welcome to users of the Better Gmail Firefox extension. Once your Gmail account is Labs-enabled, you'll get a Labs tab in the Settings area of your account where you can enable 13 new experimental Gmail features, including signature tweaks, mouse gestures, keyboard shortcuts, and even a game. After the jump, get an exclusive sneak preview at the new Gmail Labs experimental features, with screenshots.
First, let's get right to the good stuff. Take a gander at the 13 new experimental features Gmail Labs adds:
Better Gmail and Better Gmail 2 users will be familiar (and hopefully very happy) with Fixed Font, Signature Tweaks, Custom Keyboard Shortcuts, and Hide Unread Counts. Google says it will start its user rollout in about an hour or so, which will continue over a span of the next few days or weeks. I've just gotten my account enabled here at the Google campus, so as I play with each feature, I'll add more screenshots to this post.
The Gmail team announced the new Gmail Labs at a press event at the Googleplex today which myself and several other tech bloggers and reporters attended. After the announcement, Keith Coleman (the Gmail product manager who we interviewed a few months back), took us on a tour of the Gmail "pod" or workspace. The best part? On a whiteboard where developers got to brainstorm feature ideas, they had taped a printout of Lifehacker readers' Gmail features wishlist. Not kidding. When I get home tonight, I will post photographic evidence.