Updated: Google to kill Labs, but not all of them!

Google just announced it is ending its Labs program in an effort to focus more on its existing products, and a collective gasp went up around the Internet. My first thought was, “Oh my God, what will happen to my multiple inboxes and Auto-advance features?”

Twitter Labs Coming Soon: Productivity Booster or Unnecessary Clutter?

BeakerFirst, Twitter announced it would be bringing a new Lists feature online to build groups right into the popular social networking site. Now it’s going a step further towards making the service more professionally relevant by introducing a Twitter Labs feature, according to The Next Web.

Like Google Labs and Facebook Prototypes before it, Twitter Labs will allow developers to test out new features for the site with a voluntary beta community prior to their official release. Not only that, but Labs would allow outside developers to create and work on add-ons and other features that could then become deeply integrated with Twitter itself, instead of just being relegated to external clients that use the API. Read More about Twitter Labs Coming Soon: Productivity Booster or Unnecessary Clutter?

How Do You Organize Your Email, Dawn Foster?

After reading Aliza’s post about how she organizes her email, my biggest piece of advice in using Gmail is to embrace the organizational chaos. I’ve been using Gmail (s goog) for over three years, and I use it as my primary email. I have a dozen or so email addresses, but they all get forwarded to Gmail. I use it as my central inbox for everything, so my email volume in that one inbox is high.

Prior to Gmail, I used Outlook for email, which has a less-than-optimal search capability. In other words, if I didn’t file an email into the proper folder, my chances of ever finding that email again were slim. When I first started using Gmail, I brought this filing behavior with me, and I obsessively tagged and labeled everything. I ended up with a bunch of labels that I probably didn’t need. At some point, I realized that Gmail’s search facility is so amazing that labeling and filing every email became unnecessary. Now, for most emails, I read them, respond if necessary, and archive. All without bothering to give them labels.

Now, to contradict myself. I also make extensive use of Gmail’s filtering capabilities to automatically add labels to some email. However, I reserve this capability for the really important stuff, like client email — you know, the people who pay me money to do stuff. I want to keep careful track of those emails. Read More about How Do You Organize Your Email, Dawn Foster?

Streamline Your Gmail With the “Send & Archive” Button

I love Gmail (s goog). With it I can flag emails and sort my mail into folders, have multiple email accounts forwarded to one Gmail account, and it has great calendar and map integration. I have my email with me wherever I go: I can check it on my iPhone (s aapl), on my MacBook Air, or on a friend’s computer. I also have elaborate auto filtering and tagging systems set up to make sure all my client emails stay sorted. Oh, did I mention offline mode? I can have all my emails downloaded to my computer so I can see them even when I am not online.

Recently I discovered a new Labs feature that makes me love Gmail even more: the “Send & Archive” button. Read More about Streamline Your Gmail With the “Send & Archive” Button

Google Introduces New Productivity-Boosting Features in Gmail

Gmail Labs has been busy lately, it would seem, and has introduced a number of new features for the web-based email service that have me, once again, considering going back to it (I generally use my MobileMe account, because it allows me to sync across my Macs and my iPhone and iPod Touch). These new features are generally useful for anyone, but they can also add to a web worker’s productivity, especially if you use your Gmail account for both private and professional correspondence.
First up, there’s a feature I know I’ve wished I had many, many times. And generally, when I found myself wanting it, my career was somehow involved. Basically, Gmail now has a take-back button for undoing a “Send” command. It actually holds the email for five seconds after you’ve pressed the send button, so it can’t actually reach out and steal a sent email back from the receiving server, but that five seconds is often all I need to realize that I’ve forgotten an important attachment in a client-facing email. Read More about Google Introduces New Productivity-Boosting Features in Gmail

Title Tweaks: See When You Have New Gmail

Google (s goog) this week added a new Labs feature to Gmail, Title Tweaks, that easily lets you see whether you have unread messages in your Gmail inbox.

If you’re like me, you’ll nearly always have Gmail open in a tab on your browser. Unfortunately, when you open more than a few tabs, the tab width reduces to the point where you can no longer see how many unread messages there are.

Gmail running in an inactive tab

Gmail in an inactive tab

It’s unproductive to have to switch back to the Gmail tab just to check to see whether you have new email. If you enable Title Tweaks (to find it click Settings, then Labs), it moves the count of unread messages to the start of the page title. This means that you can see whether you have any new mail in your inbox by just glancing at your tabs.

Gmail in an ainactive tab with Title Tweaks enabled

Gmail in an inactive tab with Title Tweaks enabled

This is very simple enhancement, but it’s very handy. Note that it also means that if you have a browser window minimized, you can keep a check on unread emails in the taskbar, too.

What are you favorite Gmail Labs features?

HP adds $199 integrated 3G option to Mini 1000 netbook


Remember those stories two weeks ago about HP quietly including a "hidden" 3G card in the HP Mini 1000 netbook? I never heard back from HP on my inquiry but it may be a moot point now. I just got word from the company that you can now add an integrated 3G option with the Mini 1000. Unfortunately, while hitting up HP Direct and configuring a Mini 1000 confirms the good news of availability, the bad news is the price. Expect to pay $199 for HP’s un2400 Mobile Broadband card. Considering that the Mini 1000 can be had for as little as $399, the additional $199 might be hard to stomach.

You’ll get your choice of Verizon’s EV-DO or AT&T’s HSPDA when you configure the option. To activate it, you’ll need the HP Connection Manager software, which was alluded to in the hidden 3G news recently. Interestingly, there are three options for configuration shown in my screen-cap above. I’ve got a note into HP wondering if the HP un2400 uses Qualcomm’s Gobi chip, which supports both EV-DO and HSDPA. I’m guessing not, but since there are three configuration options for two 3G networks you never know. Maybe that’s a "hidden" feature too.

Since netbooks are mobile companion devices, I fully understand why an "always-on" connection is desirable. That’s why I have one. But if computer makers are going to limit that connection by making it integrated, it either needs to come down in price through subsidization or they should simply offer USB options. If I had integrated 3G for each of my devices instead of my 3G USB adapter I’d be paying more for 3G than I pay for my car. That’s not appealing to me as a consumer and I’m not sure a $199 3G card for a $399 netbook will be either for many. Especially when HP sells the un2400 alone for $149.99. I’m assuming it’s the same thing based on the features and specs.

I’ll update if and when I hear back from HP on the either/or option shown above.