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Google Adds Gadgets to Gmail

More to come?

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Google is continuing on its roll of cranking out new features for Gmail. This time, it is a few projects from Gmail Labs that let you add gadgets to Gmail. So far, you can add the Google Calendar and Docs gadgets.

Calendar and Dogs Gadgets for GmailWhen you add them, they will appear in the left-side navigation column, around the area where you find the chat, labels, and, and invitation features. Although, it might be best not to get too attached to this layout.

Perhaps recalling the recent backlash from users over the new navigation style of iGoogle, Gmail engineeer Dan Pupius says,"We’re not tied to the left-nav as a primary way to extend Gmail — in fact we think it is relatively limited and doesn’t offer scalable real estate. There are also some downsides to the iframe-style Gadgets we’re using today — they can sometimes slow down the page. We’re fanatical about speed, so we’ll be keeping a close eye on performance."

Pupius also explains another new feature. "There’s a third Lab that allows you to add any gadget by pasting in the URL of its XML spec file (e.g. http://www.google.com/ig/modules/youtube_videos.xml). We realize this isn’t very user friendly right now; it’s a sandbox mainly aimed at developers who want to play around with gadgets in Gmail." Developers (and anyone else for that matter) can let their opinions be known in the Labs forum.

The Docs and Calendar gadgets integrate nicely into Gmail. You can see your Google Calendar agenda and get an alerts for scheduled events, and you can search your Docs documents within Gmail for easy access to documents you might want to send.

I have a feeling this is just the beginning of the availability of gadgets in Gmail. I expect that we’ll start seeing the addition of others in the not-too-distant future. Other recent Gmail offerings include expanded emoticons, a new version of Gmail for mobile use, canned replies, mail goggles, the "marked as read" button, and a "forgotten attachment detector".

Google Adds Gadgets to Gmail
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  • http://www.mobilemini.com portable storage

    I’ve wondered how long it would take google to put their calender and docs app on gmail. I love the email client. The problem was I always had to click on gmail to activate all of my features of gmail, then click back to use Google docs. Now I have it all in one place. Great find Chris.

    • Chris Crum

      Google said that these features were in high demand.

    • http://www.averyjparker.com Computer Tips and Tech Info

      That’s right – good to see them working towards better integration between their products.

  • http://deansfolio.blogspot.com Dean

     That youtube link is about the only gadget I have tried which ‘kind of’ works. Presently Google’s weather gadget doesn’t seem to work  :(

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