Google is offering Gmail users the ability to view appointments in their Google Calendar and recently accessed Google Docs files without having to click a separate tab.

Google Labs announced the two new features that integrate with Gmail, saying they can be accessed via the Setting tab in Gmail, where they can be enabled so they are visable in the lefthand side of the inbox. The Calendar Gadget displays the latest entries in an agenda style while the Documents Gadget will show the latest used documents together with a search function.

A third feature was also launched that allows you to add any other gadget by pasting the URL of the file. However, even the Google team admits that the third feature "isn't very user friendly right now, but hopefully we will see some improvements soon". If you're concerned with security though, keep in mind that not all gadgets are fully compatible with https, so the ones connecting to Gmail via https might get mixed content warnings. The Labs team said that it is "working on fixing this".

Google Labs has been at the forefront of innovation at Google lately, releasing a plethora of new features for Gmail's 100 plus million users over the past month. Someone up there on the Google cloud must be watching which Labs features users activate for their Gmail accounts and tally up whether these new features will be part of a final Gmail version. However, while Gmail is still in a perpetual beta status, we wonder who has more input into shaping the future versions of Gmail: the personal user or the businesses that use Google Apps?

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