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What's cookin' in the lab?

Testtubes Google Labs is a testing ground for experimental features that Google thinks aren't quite ready for primetime. Google engineers and researches can show off their pet projects, and users can weigh in on how helpful these features are. If projects are well-received, they may eventually graduate to be included in Google's regular offerings.

Labs features are available for many Google services including Gmail, Calendar, Maps, Search, Toolbar, and YouTube. You can peruse them at http://www.googlelabs.com/, or you can see what Lab features are available for a service while you are logged in and using it. Just look for the little green beaker in the upper right corner (in Gmail, the beaker may not appear until you've already enabled a Labs feature in Settings->Labs). 

GreenBeaker

Here are just a few of the many, many Google Labs offerings...

  • Google Image Swirl - new interface for displaying image search results 
  • Google Goggles - lets you search Google using pictures taken by your Android camera phone
  • Google Fast Flip -fast overviews of headline pages of top newspapers (probably best appreciated from a device with a touch screen)
  • Gmail's Mail Goggles (hopefully we're all awake and sober enough that no one will need this one at the library!)

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