Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Our little baby's all grown up.
We launched Gmail Labs as a forum for delivering useful (and maybe not so useful) features that might not be quite ready for prime time. The idea was always that the most popular and viable Labs features would graduate and be made more readily available to all users...and that some of the less used, less viable ones would disappear forever.
I'm proud to announce that Tasks is in that first bucket — it's been one of the most popular experimental Gmail features and it's now the first graduate from Labs.
To access Tasks, starting today you can just click "Tasks" under the "Contacts" link above your chat list (no need to turn it on from the Labs tab anymore).
We've been continually improving Tasks since it first launched in Labs. We believe simple and fast is best, so we've been working to make Tasks more responsive and get basic interactions working better: we've added mobile and gadget views, made improvements to task editing and management, launched in more languages, and integrated with Google Calendar. We've also added a printable view for those people compelled to do things away from their computers or mobile devices.
Rest assured there's more on the way for Tasks— just because we're graduating from Labs today doesn't mean we're done.
We've received a lot of positive feedback about Gmail Labs, and we've found that testing something in Labs can be a good way to help decide whether it should become a regular part of Gmail. So we decided to extend the same model to Google Calendar. Beginning today, you can add Labs features to your calendar too, such as Free or Busy, which lets you see which of your friends or coworkers are currently in meetings or World Clock, which helps you keep track of different timezones when you schedule meetings. Take a look at the Google Apps blog for more info.