Ever since the advent of tabs, web sites with messaging or updating features have started providing unread message counts in the title, usually at the front, so that people can easily scan their opened tabs and see if any of them has unread stuff. Of course as tabs become more commonplace, heavy users have so many opened that often no part of the title is even visible anymore. Google introduced an innovative little feature today to fix that in Gmail. They call it the Unread Message Icon. It's a dynamic favicon that the server provides which updates the tab to show the number of unread messages in your inbox. Now, even in a crowded browser, you can easily see if you have new email. It's a simple improvement, but brilliant nonetheless, and I wouldn't be surprised to see other sites adopt the technique. To enable it, you have to go in your settings and click on the Labs options.
Read More | Gmail Blog