Top 5 Google Labs projects is a self-described "playground" where anyone can try out almost-finished Google experimental projects. Recent alumni include Google Maps, Alerts, and its SMS text message directory service.

The current collection showcases 50-plus "bubbling test tubes." There's no guarantee that any will graduate to full Google status, but here are five projects that are worth donning a virtual lab coat to test for yourself.

3. Scribe

  • close
    Come play with Google Labs.
    Bob Staake
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption

Many cellphones offer T9, predictive-text software that automatically completes half-typed words. The feature is a favorite among hyperefficient text-messagers, and those who are just plain lazy.

Scribe is T9 for computers. With each keystroke, the "text completion service" offers to finish the word for you – in English, Spanish, or Arabic.

Scribe won't always guess correctly, especially with unusual words. But it can be very handy with simple sentences. For example, write "To W" and the program will suggest "...hom It May Concern," potentially saving you from having to type 18 more characters.

3 of 5