When Gmail debuted back in 2004, it drastically increased the standard for free storage by offering a whopping 1GB of storage space at a time when popular web-based email services were offering sub-10MB capacities. As competition followed suit, however, storage capacity has ceased to be a differentiator.

In an effort to continue innovating, Google has now opened a way for people to try out and evaluate the latest tweaks in its webmail service. Dubbed Gmail Labs, this latest addition to Gmail will let users play with experimental features before they get an official nod from Google. The idea is to get more features to users faster. The initial crop of experimental features range from the cosmetic (fixed width font, hide unread counts) to the functional (bookmarking, custom keyboard shortcuts) to the downright bizarre (old snakey and email addict?).

Gmail users can find the “Labs” options under the Settings tab in their accounts, and there's also an "escape hatch" link which will temporarily disable Labs features on your account should one of the experiments go wrong.