'Tasks' software graduates from Gmail Labs

Popular Tasks bar integrated as a permanent Gmail fixture

Google’s Gmail Labs has celebrated its first graduate, with the launch of the Tasks bar.

Introduced into Gmail Labs last November, Tasks is a simple to-do list with due date reminders that sync with Google Calendar.

While there is no third-party synchronization with the Tasks feature yet, Google has plans to develop an API for it.

Local Google software engineer Michael Lancaster, who worked on the Tasks feature, praised the ability of Gmail Labs to provide developers with a sandbox style experiment platform, which enables Google to evaluate the success and popularity of a feature, before its roll-out.

“Because Gmail has tens of millions of users, we don’t like to experiment with new features directly on the entire user base, so this allows users to opt in and try them out,” Lancaster said.

Last week, Google dropped the "beta" label from Gmail as well as Calendar, Docs and Talk, in a bid to remove the roadblock between Google Apps and IT management.

"We've taken the beta label off of to remove any doubt that Google Apps is a mature product suite when we're talking to large enterprises who are thinking about switching to Google - and there is a lot of interest from large companies in Australia and around the world,” a Google Australia spokesperson said.

“But even though we're dropping the beta label, we'll continue to innovate constantly around Gmail, particularly within Labs which is where Tasks came from.”

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