Google graduates 3 Labs projects to Gmail

Google Labs used to be a destination within Google where users could find new and experimental applications the search company was creating. Today, Labs are quietly woven into the Settings menu of several Google properties, including Gmail and Reader.

This is the place where you can find the app's experimental features. Like the old Google Labs, there is no guarantee that any project will succeed -- in fact, it is just as likely to disappear. However, sometimes a feature works well enough, and becomes popular enough, that it "graduates" to become a full-fledged part of the app.

That is the case with three long-running Labs projects this week. Google yesterday unveiled the three lucky projects via its Gmail Google+ page. They include:

Send and Archive

This feature allows Gmail customers to send a newly sent email directly to archives from both the compose and the reply screen. This has been enabled by default in the Google email Web interface.

Default reply to all

As the name suggests, this extension, also now enabled by default, allows the user to automatically send a message out to everyone included in the conversation. More on this later.

Quote selected text

This may be the handiest feature that has now become a part of Gmail. Previously users had two options when replying to an email - show the replied to message or don't. Now you can highlight a part of the text, click Reply and only the highlighted text will appear in the message.

While these are all great features, and many more are still sitting in the Labs, I can say from experience that you should use caution with the "Default reply to all" as it has been the undoing of many a person, especially in work environments.

Photo: Pressmaster/Shutterstock

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