Other tools

Chapter 1: Apps Mail Labs

Table of contents

Mail sidebar gadgets

Gadgets overview

Google Calendar gadget

Google Docs gadget

Add any gadget

Media previews in messages

Preview Flickr photo albums

Preview Google Maps

Preview Yelp reviews

Translate email messages

Automatic email translation

Turn on email translation

Inbox quick links

Bookmark an email search

Turn on Quick Links

Add a Quick Link

Send and archive

Send and archive button

Show button

Search Mail and Docs

Apps Search

Enable Apps Search

Insert images into email messages

Inline images in email

Turn on “inserting images”

Mail sidebar gadgets

Gadgets overview

Often times while in your inbox, you may need a way to quickly see your day's agenda or view some of your recent Google Docs. With the gadget experiments in Apps mail labs, you can add a Google Calendar or Google Docs gadget that will be always visible on the side of your Apps mail page.

In addition, if you have used Gadgets that you use often in iGoogle or Sites, there is a way to add any gadget – not just the ones for Docs or Calendar – to be visible in your Apps mail page. Some examples may include a Twitter gadget to check on the latest tweets, or perhaps a maps/direction gadget to quickly map out an address you read in an email.

Google Calendar gadget

The Google Calendar gadget adds a box in the left column which shows your linked school Google Calendar. From here, you can see upcoming events, locations, and even click on an event to view more details.

Any alerts for your events will also appear at the bottom of your Apps mail page.

To turn on the Google Calendar gadget, follow these steps:

  1. Click the gear in the top right of your Apps mail page, then on Mail Settings or select Labs
  2. Select the Labs tab and find the Google Calendar gadget option (or experiment)
  3. Click the Enable radio button to add the gadget.
  4. Click 'Save Changes at the bottom of the page.
  5. Your page may refresh but after the refresh, the experiment you just turned on will be available in your Apps mail account.

Alternatively, you can access Labs by clicking on the gear in the top right side of your Apps mail page, then on Labs.

More things you can do with the Google Calendar gadget:

Google Docs gadget

The Google Docs gadget adds a box in the left column of your Apps mail page which displays your school Apps account Google Docs. It will show your most recent docs, starred docs, and has a fast search option for finding the document you need. You can even start a new document, spreadsheet, presentation, or form with the 'New' link.

This is a quick, one click way to open Docs instead of clicking first on the Docs link (which opens a new window) and then search for the document you want to open.

To turn on the Google Docs gadget:

  1. Click the gear in the top right of your Apps mail page, then on Mail Settings.
  2. Select the Labs tab and Find the Google Docs gadget option (or 'experiment')
  3. Click the Enable radio button to add the gadget.
  4. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.
  5. Your page may refresh but after the refresh, the experiment you just turned on will be available in your Apps mail account.

Alternatively, you can access Labs by clicking on the gear in the top right side of your Apps mail page, then on Labs.

The Google Docs gadget lists your most recent Docs, which you can open with one click.

With the Google Docs gadget you can also:

Add any gadget

This is a more advanced Labs experiment. 'Add any gadget by URL' adds a "Gadgets" tab to Settings, where you'll be able to specify the URL of any gadget. This gadget will show in a box in the left column.

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).  Other gadgets could include a Twitter gadget, and a gadget for your Google Voice number.

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 Apps mail. There are also some downsides to the iframe-style Gadgets we're using today -- they can sometimes slow down the page.

This experiment, due to all of the above, is subject to change, so proceed with caution.

To add any gadget by URL to your Apps mail page:

  1. Click the gear in the top right of your Apps mail page, then on Mail Settings.
  2. Select the Labs tab and Find the Add any gadget by URL option (or 'experiment')
  3. Click the Enable radio button to add the gadget.
  4. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.
  5. Your page may refresh
  6. After the refresh, click Settings again
  7. Click the Gadgets tab (this is a new tab added after you enable the 'Add any gadget' labs option)
  8. Paste in the URL of the gadget you want to add

Alternatively, you can access Labs by clicking on the gear in the top right side of your Apps mail page, then on Labs.

Media previews in messages

Preview Flickr photo albums

For those shutterbugs that like to use Flickr, you can preview images from those albums in your email. In the preview, you'll see a selection of photos from the album beneath the message. Then you can choose whether you'd like to go to the full album link, or pass and read the rest of your emails.

To turn on the Flickr preview gadget:

  1. Click the gear in the top right of your Apps mail page, then on Mail Settings.
  2. Select the 'Labs' tab and Find the 'Flickr previews in mail' option (or 'experiment')
  3. Click the 'Enable' radio button to add the gadget.
  4. Click 'Save Changes' at the bottom of the page.
  5. Your page may refresh but after the refresh, the experiment you just turned on will be available in your Apps mail account.

Alternatively, you can access Labs by clicking on the gear in the top right side of your Apps mail page, then on Labs.

Preview Google Maps

With this experiment enabled you can preview a Google Map that corresponds to any address sent to you in an email. You can interact with the map, change to satellite view, and quickly open the map in a new window.

To turn on the Google Map preview:

  1. Click the gear in the top right of your Apps mail page, then on Mail Settings.
  2. Select the 'Labs' tab and Find the 'Google Maps previews in mail' option (or 'experiment')
  3. Click the 'Enable' radio button to add the gadget.
  4. Click 'Save Changes' at the bottom of the page.
  5. Your page may refresh but after the refresh, the experiment you just turned on will be available in your Apps mail account.

Alternatively, you can access Labs by clicking on the gear in the top right side of your Apps mail page, then on Labs.

Preview Yelp reviews

Yelp is a site where people can review and rate pretty much any type of establishment or service. It can be a great research tool for finding a good restaurant to eat at or evaluating any other type of service. If someone's talking about a new restaurant they want to try, and include a link to the Yelp review, you can preview information about the establishment at the bottom of the email message. The information will include ratings, phone numbers, and other listing information.

To turn on the Yelp preview gadget:

  1. Click the gear in the top right of your Apps mail page, then on Mail Settings.
  2. Select the 'Labs' tab and Find the 'Yelp previews in mail' option (or 'experiment')
  3. Click the 'Enable' radio button to add the gadget.
  4. Click 'Save Changes' at the bottom of the page.
  5. Your page may refresh but after the refresh, the experiment you just turned on will be available in your Apps mail account.

Alternatively, you can access Labs by clicking on the gear in the top right side of your Apps mail page, then on Labs.

Translate email messages

Automatic email translation

The Internet has made the world a much smaller place – you no longer have to board a plane to 'travel' through Paris (try using Google Earth), you can send a note to India in just seconds with email instead of waiting weeks with airmail, and now you can take advantage of Google's automatic translation technology to translate text into an email message.

With message translation, you can send pen-pal emails to students in China, or exchange ideas with teachers in Brazil – all in the language you can understand.

Learn more about Google's automatic translation technology.

The next time you receive an email from someone in a different language, you can let Apps mail translate the message in one click.

In fact, if all parties are using Apps mail (or Gmail), you can have entire conversations in multiple languages with each participant reading the messages in whatever language is most comfortable for them.

It's not quite the universal translators we're so fond of from science fiction, but thanks to Google Translate, it's an exciting step in the right direction.

Turn on email translation

To turn one click email translation:

  1. Click the gear in the top right of your Apps mail page, then on Mail Settings
  2. Select the 'Labs' tab and Find the 'Message translation' option (or 'experiment')
  3. Click the 'Enable' radio button to add the gadget.
  4. Click 'Save Changes' at the bottom of the page.
  5. Your page may refresh but after the refresh, the experiment you just turned on will be available in your Apps mail account.

Alternatively, you can access Labs by clicking on the gear in the top right side of your Apps mail page, then on Labs.

After you enable Message translation in the Labs tab, go to the General tab in Mail Settings and mark the check box to Enable message translation.

Inbox quick links

Bookmark an email search

Find yourself referring back to the same message a lot? Or maybe you just have a habit of browsing through old messages from a mentor to revisit their wisdom and tips. The Apps mail Quick Links experiment will allow you to bookmark some of your favorites -- be it a single message or search results for a particular search -- and put a box with links in the left-hand side of the page.

Basically, Quick links let you create a shortcut to any page in Apps mail – it could be a draft email, a specific email message, or even a search (maybe "is:unread" to bring up all your unread email or "subject:Newsletter"

So, if you keep digging out that email with your field trip itinerary, or that important email with the list of facility changes for the school year, save yourself some time and add a link.

Turn on Quick Links

To turn on the Quick Links experiment and have a box with shortcuts to emails or searches:

  1. Click the gear in the top right of your Apps mail page, then on Mail Settings.
  2. Select the 'Labs' tab and Find the 'Quick Links' option (or 'experiment')
  3. Click the 'Enable' radio button to add the gadget.
  4. Click 'Save Changes' at the bottom of the page.
  5. Your page may refresh but after the refresh, the experiment you just turned on will be available in your Apps mail account.

Alternatively, you can access Labs by clicking on the gear in the top right side of your Apps mail page, then on Labs.

Add a Quick Link

Once you have the Quick Links box in your Apps Mail sidebar, you can start adding quick links.

To add a Quick Link shortcut to an email or message:

  1. Open the email message or search you would like to save
  2. Click Add Quick Link in the Quick Links box.
  3. Type a title for your link and click OK.

Send and archive

Send and archive button

Are you a fan of inbox zero or do you just like to archive conversations that you have completed?  Then the send and archive lab will be a great addition.  

A Send & Archive button will be added along with the send button when you reply to an email.

Show button

To turn on Send & Archive

  1. Click the gear in the top right of your Apps mail page, then on Mail Settings.
  2. Select the 'Labs' tab and Find the 'Superstars' option (or 'experiment')
  3. Click the 'Enable' radio button to add the gadget.
  4. Click 'Save Changes' at the bottom of the page.
  5. Your page may refresh but after the refresh, the experiment you just turned on will be available in your Apps mail account.

Alternatively, you can access Labs by clicking on the gear in the top right side of your Apps mail page, then on Labs.

Search Mail and Docs

Apps Search

The Apps Search lab feature is a perfect companion for your Google Apps mail account.  After enabling this lab feature you will have the ability to search through your Google Docs and Google Sites at the same time as your email.

To use this lab, simply type your key word or phrase in the Google Apps mail search bar.

Google will return search results for in a section for Mail and a section for Docs and Sites .

Enable Apps Search

To turn on 'Suggest more recipients':

  1. Click the gear in the top right of your Apps mail page, then on Mail Settings.
  2. Select the 'Labs' tab and find the 'Apps Search' option (or 'experiment')
  3. Click the 'Enable' radio button to add the gadget.
  4. Click 'Save Changes' at the bottom of the page.
  5. Your page may refresh but after the refresh, the experiment you just turned on will be available in your Apps mail account.

Alternatively, you can access Labs by clicking on the gear in the top right side of your Apps mail page, then on Labs.

Insert images into email messages

Inline images in email

By default, Apps mail does not let you insert images from your computer or from the internet into your email. You can only attach images into your emails. However, with the 'Insert Images' experiment in Labs, you can add an image right into your email message, exactly where you want it to go. The image will also be attached to the email if your recipient wants to download it.

When you turn on the experiment, you'll see a new toolbar icon like this:

Please note: You must be in rich formatting mode, or it won't show up.

Click the little image icon, and you can insert images in two ways: by uploading image files from your computer or providing image URLs.

Keep in mind that Apps mail for your school and Gmail don't show URL-based images in messages by default to protect you from spammers, so if you're sending mail to other school Apps mail users (or Gmail addresses), they'll still have to click "Display images below" or "Always display images from ..." to see images you embed.

Turn on “inserting images”

To turn on 'Inserting images' and add the button to your email replies and forwards:

  1. Click the gear in the top right of your Apps mail page, then on Mail Settings.
  2. Select the 'Labs' tab and find the 'Inserting images' option (or 'experiment')
  3. Click the 'Enable' radio button to add the gadget.
  4. Click 'Save Changes' at the bottom of the page.
  5. Your page may refresh but after the refresh, the experiment you just turned on will be available in your Apps mail account.

Alternatively, you can access Labs by clicking on the gear in the top right side of your Apps mail page, then on Labs.