Gmail graduates and drops some Labs

Gmail is constantly changing, and user's feedback is a big part of that. Google Labs has been around for a while now, and many users take advantage of them on a daily basis. Depending on how popular a Lab becomes, Google decides what to do with it. Some Labs become standard Gmail features. Others are sent back to the depths from which they came. Tasks is an example of a Lab that graduated into a default feature, while Right-side labels was retired when the whole Label system was re-done.

On the Official Gmail Blog, Google has announced the graduating Labs class of February 2010. There's also a group of labs being retired. Google says that their decision to graduate and retire Labs is primarily due to usage and user feedback. Most of the ones graduated seem like pretty logical inclusions. The ones being discontinued seem to fall under the "novelty" category, and probably weren't being used by many people. Google also mentions that "even more labs are on the way." Here's the list:

Graduating:

  1. Search Autocomplete
  2. Go To Label
  3. Forgotten Attachment Detector
  4. YouTube Previews
  5. Custom Label Colors
  6. Vacation Dates

Retiring:

  1. Muzzle
  2. Fixed Width Font
  3. Email Addict
  4. Location in Signature
  5. Random Signature
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11 Comments

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tuckeratlarge said,
All I want is a little box at the end of an email, under the reply/forward box so as I can write little notes that stay with that email.

To do this i forward the mail plus reply to myself.

Chrono951 said,
Why bother dropping features? I mean, is it that hard to just keep it around, unless those features weren't complete.
Support and testing requirements, or it's possible future features aren't going to be compatible with them.

The five retiring ones are all ones that originally launched with Labs, oddly - I guess they just never got traction.

I use #3 and #4 from Graduating, and #4 from Retiring. I'm surprised that #3 and #4 got retired, I thought those would be pretty popular.

Oh well

I use the top 4 "graduating" labs. Great ones! The one lab I really hope gets some major tweaking is the Web Search lab, so that it works like Add quick in Hotmail. I also want Default Font Style to work with signatures (my name).