Gmail has a new feature in its labs section aimed at people with bad connections who still want to use the
You can't actually read these messages, but you can quickly see if you have new ones. Users on a fast connection will only see the preview for a mere second or two before the in-box opens up. But for those on the very thread of a cellular data line, or on some chuggy dial-up, Google is pitching this as a simple way to see if those latest messages are worth the loading wait.
While relatively useless to users with fast connections, this is still a nice alternative to switching over to the HTML version of Gmail, which survives for the sake of compatibility on older machines and browsers. The switch over to that version forgoes many niceties such as no page refreshing, and the use of Gmail labs features.