back to article Gmail Labs' experiments: What's in, what's out?

Google has slotted six new features into Gmail after testing the technologies in its Labs playpen, at the same time the company has dumped five other features that never got past the experimental stage. “Over the next few days, you'll see Muzzle, Fixed Width Font, Email Addict, Location in Signature, and Random Signature stop …


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  1. Aaron Em

    That's awesome.

    I want nothing more in my life than a mail client whose capabilities are mutable, on a day-by-day basis and with no opt-out, at the whim of someone other than me.

    1. OffBeatMammal


      just buy Outlook or use Thunderbird...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Opt out?

      etc. etc.

  2. CaptainBanjax

    Aww man.

    Fixed width font is never a bad feature.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Fixed-width must die

      How is it not a bad feature? The only place I've ever seen it be useful is in programming languages, where alyout makes your code neater and easier to follow/debug. In normal communication it always irritates me. But that's just me.

      1. Blain Hamon

        Hooray for fixed-width!

        > The only place I've ever seen it be useful is in programming languages

        And guess what can be commonly discussed in email mailing lists!

        Not only that, but well, where else can we have ascii art?

  3. Steven Raith

    @aaron emm

    Aaron, they were experiemental features you had to specifically sign up for to test.

    What part of 'experimental' don't you understand?

    Jesus, I can remember when the internet was for the elite - now they let any idiot on.

    Steven R

    1. Rod MacLean
      Thumb Up

      RE: @aaron emm

      Don't know why anyone's marked Steven Raith's post down. He wasn't wrong, you know. They were experimental features.

      ... and aaron emm was completely wrong about incorporating stuff into gmail. We all know (by now) that only one thing was added, it's now been sorted and you can easily opt out. Besides which, anyone with a mail client could read/post with POP3/SMTP anyway and not even have to log in to the Google web site.

      1. Steven Raith

        @rod maclean

        My post was downvoted because of the last line of my previous comment, I suspect...

        As for Buzz/chat - as has been noted (but not digressed on) you can disable Chat and Buzz at the bottom of your GMail page - piece of piss.

        Another classic case of people not RTFM?


        Steven R

    2. OffBeatMammal

      we need...

      .... a driving test for the internet

  4. Matt Thornton


    I really like random signature.

  5. Tom 13

    Something is broken at Google

    I don't do labs, because they're experimental and all. But all of the stuff I might be interested in got the cut, particularly fixed width font. What I can identify of the stuff that made the cut I want not at all. For instance WTF is that first mouthful of crap?

  6. Blake St. Claire

    fixed width font?


    Pick rich formatting, select "Courier New".

    Et voila.

    What exactly is the problem?

    1. Rumcajz

      title shmitle

      but isn't that cheating??

  7. armyknife

    Titles are for dukes and books and stuff.

    I'll shortly be closing my gmail account; the buzz auto-sign in did it for me.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Try accessing your gmail using a normal mail client instead of the web... no Buzz.

      (Besides which, you CAN opt-out - as we all know by now!)

  8. dave 46

    forgotten attachment

    Only one I used and kept - it's saved me looking like a **** a couple of times, not epic, but worthy.

    1. Rob Dobs

      you misread

      forgotten attachment is part of list that were promoted to inclusion in the Gmail product.

      You need to re-read the article.

      Though I have lost all trust for this company by now, and wonder why anyone would use them for email...

      Heroin dealer give away their product for free also......I understand Linux, and people working together on a collective public project. I don't understand people treating a for profit company the same way. Google is out to make money (evil or not) for its shareholders, that is all it can do now that it is a traded company.

  9. Tom_


    It took a while, but there's now a proper option to disable Buzz in Gmail's settings.

  10. Alastair 7

    Re: Something is broken at Google

    Y'know, I'm pretty sure they have figures telling them who uses what. So you can't blame them for canning fixed with font if barely anyone uses it.

  11. Eddy Ito Silver badge


    I've been searching for just such a thing. Please, oh please, tell me it will be added to Twidder, Fasebooch and the rest of Web2dotOh!

    1. bluesxman

      Re: what he said

      There's a workaround. Follow this simple procedure:

      1. Open web browser.

      2. Visit a website that is not of the MyFaceSpaceTwitBook ilk.

      3. Repeat step 2 throughout your browsing session.

      That should sort you out.

  12. tebiru


    One thing that's been sorely missing, and that I miss about Outlook, is auto-correct. Surprised Google hasn't added this yet.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I quite liked random signature... reminded me of the BlueWave BBS software you used for offline FIDOnet reading back in the day when 2,400 baud was 'super'. And I'm only 30 now ;)

    You used to be able to get great sets of tagline files - I'll miss it now...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No fixed width font....

    ... but if you use the browser version of Gmail on your Android then it forces line wraps at somewhere round 76 characters and completely screws up your email.. As for why I'm using the Web version of Gmail when the Android comes with native Gmail support its because it only supports one email account, and the other email client provided (and the forked version of it) is complete pants.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Must be playday at Mountain View

    as a bunch of new Labs features have also touched down on Maps, most of which actually seen to be useful. Although they want me to log in to my Google account so my preferences regarding which of these should be enabled can stick. Now, I don't have one of those, what's the matter with a cookie?

  16. paulm
    Thumb Down

    Locked the group

    They've already locked down the google group for the fixed width font feature. Just went to try and post an argument against retiring this useful feature and found "You cannot post messages because this group is only available as an archive."

    So, they kill a useful feature, and make it immediately impossible to discuss the matter. You also can't comment on the official gmail blog. Way to handle feedback Google!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    i have to say i have a really bad habit of forgetting to attach attachments. didn't even realise that feature was in labs


  18. Adrian Tritschler

    Location in signature was a bit flaky

    Location in signature was a problem for those of us using IPv6, the location it chose seemed to be arbitrary -- I never figured it out, but maybe it was what happened when they tried to do a GeoIP on an IPv6 addressed interepreting it as an IPv4 address.

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