Gmail adds two new semi-ridiculous features

Apparently the Gmail engineers have a little too much time on their hands.


Cyrus Farivar
October 23, 2008 11:12PM (UTC)

While Google has been busy building phones, donating money to green energy, and spying on us like never before, apparently it also has the time and money to create two new add-ons to Gmail.

The first, which debuted earlier this month, is called Mail Goggles. Despite the fact that it was the butt of a joke on NPR's Wait Wait ... Don't tell me!, Mail Goggles is designed to be a barrier to prevent you from drunk e-mailing your ex.

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As Jon Perlow, a Gmail engineer wrote on the Official Gmail Blog:

Sometimes I send messages I shouldn't send. Like the time I told that girl I had a crush on her over text message. Or the time I sent that late night email to my ex-girlfriend that we should get back together. Gmail can't always prevent you from sending messages you might later regret, but today we're launching a new Labs feature I wrote called Mail Goggles which may help.

When you enable Mail Goggles, it will check that you're really sure you want to send that late night Friday email. And what better way to check than by making you solve a few simple math problems after you click send to verify you're in the right state of mind?

Indeed, Mail Goggles provides you with math problems (you can set the difficulty in advance) as a way to keep you from sending those weird e-mails that you didn't mean to send.

But, Google wasn't done. Earlier this week, Gmail unveiled another new feature, called Canned Responses.

Again, from the Gmail blog:

If you're sick of typing out the same reply every time someone emails you with a common question, now you can compose your reply once and save the message text with the "Canned responses" button. Later, you can open that same message and send it again and again.

I'm not sure that I'd actually use either of these features, but it's good to know that those crazy Googlers have a sense of humor.

To activate either of these features in Gmail, just click "Settings" in the top right of your Gmail page, and choose "Enable," for each one that you want.

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Cyrus Farivar

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