Google has announced the release of a new Gmail App. It is Inbox, an email client that they claim will “work for you”, offering a more intuitive and adaptive experience than their more traditional platform.
Through using Labs and more set features, Google has always shown a desire to improve and change their Gmail service. A big part of that has been the ability to group together messages, first by threaded emails, and then through tagging messages to keep them in a certain category. Inbox is a step beyond their past experiments.
Created to be a mobile friendly platform, Inbox has several elements that make it unique.
First, it bundles emails into natural groups, such as putting all bank statements and purchasing receipts in one place, and messages from friends and family in another. Second, it allows you to select these bundles and change them, so Inbox learns your preferences and can make better decisions over time. Third, it creates a highlights section, almost like a news feed, using information taken from messages (such as shipping confirmations, flight details, ect). Fourth, it allows you to set reminders in a much simpler and more effective way than the annoying use of Google Calendars. Finally, all of this can be set on snooze, to put a pause to any notifications, reminders, or data collection.
Right now, it is invite-only. That is very telling, if you look at past releases from Google. If Inbox is successful, it could possibly integrate permanently with Gmail to create a single email client and application. At least, that seems to be the point.
I have requested my own invite to check it out, but sadly haven’t yet received it. So all of my information is based on what they have shown, and what others have said who have been able to try it immediately. But it looks really cool, and for those of us who do most of our work online, it could really help sort out the constant email filling messages coming in from all sides.
Think of this as an assistant for your email and schedule. It wouldn’t be hard to put together everything you need in one place: a To-Do list in tasks, reminders in Inbox, and filtering without the manual work. It would make things so much easier, in theory. As I said, I haven’t been able to put it into practice yet.
Fingers crossed I can try it soon! If you’ve had a chance to look it over, let us know how it works in the comments.