When you use your Google tools, have you turned on Google Labs? Google Labs is the place within the Google-verse where experimental features for Google products are put out for trial by users. Google Labs provides a centralized location where you can looks at dozens and dozens of new ideas that Google engineers are playing with for the family of Google products. If you want to look over the leading edge and step onto the bleeding edge, this is the playground for you. In my Google account I have the Labs feature turned on so that if I am using a service such as Mail, or Calendar or You Tube, a little flask icon appears in the toolbar. When there is a new set of features from Google Labs for the product it is marked with “NEW” and a simple click shows me some new ideas that I might want to enable.
As an avid bicyclist and softball dad I spend a lot of time in Google Maps. It has always bothered me to be doing so much zooming in and out, panning left and right, grabbing and sliding maps to find stuff I need. Well, Google Labs added a new feature that improves the experience greatly. It is called Drag ‘Zoom. When you enable the feature it does just what it says. You drag a box where you want to zoom, and the map zooms to the area you selected. The feature is accessed by way of a small magnifying glass icon which is added at the bottom of the pan and zoom tool on your Google Maps.