Google Launches Tasks from Gmail Labs, Opens Calendar Labs

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2009-07-14 Print this article Print

Google is proud to announce Tasks as the first graduate from its Gmail Labs experimental workshop, as well as the launch of Google Calendar Labs today.

First, the Tasks graduation. The Gmail Labs group in December 2008 launched Gmail Tasks, a task management tool that lets users keep track of their agendas.

Tasks pops up a chat window in which you can type to-do lists or appointments. Tasks has a full editing menu where you can add, subtract, indent, reorder or print the tasks. You can also convert e-mails to Tasks by selecting one or more messages and going to More Actions > Add to Tasks.

In later months, Google added mobile and gadget views, integrated Tasks with Google Calendar and added more language support.

Apparently, the tool caught fire, with Google Gmail Labs Software Engineer James Watts proclaiming it one of the most popular Gmail Labs features.

So now it's no longer a beta and is part of the standard Gmail features. You no longer have to select it from Gmail Labs and save it. You'll see Tasks under your contact lists starting today.

Not sure if it's for you? Check out this video and decide for yourself.

Gmail Labs isn't the only Google Apps group with good news. Google launched Google Calendar Labs along with an API to let developers tweak the application for business use.

Users may access Calendar Labs similarly to Gmail Labs. When users sign in to Calendar, they'll see a new page in Settings called Labs. I don't yet see the button for it in my Calendar account.

Google Calendar Labs.png

Google says there are six new Labs features, with more coming.

Next Meeting shows users how much time they can waste until the next meeting. Free or Busy shows users which of their friends or coworkers are in meetings. World Clock tracks different time zones when users schedule meetings.

TechCrunch's Erick Schonfeld says the other three are a Background Image feature to let users, well, change the background image, an Attach a Document option that lets users attach documents to a Calendar event, and a navigation tool called Jump to Date that lets users go directly to specific dates in the Calendar.

Can you access Calendar Labs yet? If so, what features do you like and why? |

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