What is Inbox by Gmail?

Posted Oct 27, 2014
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Google reinvents the mail app known as Inbox

Last Wednesday, Google announced the launch of its new amazing app called Inbox by Gmail which is basically a new approach to managing emails.

“We get more email now than ever, important information is buried inside messages, and our most important tasks can slip through the cracks—especially when we’re working on our phones. For many of us, dealing with email has become a daily chore that distracts from what we really need to do—rather than helping us get those things done,” said Sundar Pichai, Senior Vice President, Android, Chrome, Apps and others in a blog post.

Amazingly, Inbox by Gmail is available on Chrome, Android and iOS. It includes three basic features known as ‘Bundles, Highlights and Reminders/Assists’ to enhance your experience. And yes, it is purely a Material Design-based app and has a simple, intuitive and easy-to-use interface.

Bundles

As Google stated, Bundles is an improved feature which had been originally been introduced to Gmail last year. This allows users to ‘bundle’ similar emails together under one specific tab. The unique feature in Bundles is that users are now able to teach Google to manage emails more meaningfully; Bundles is able to group your emails into categories like Travels, Social Network, News, Promos, Updates, Forums, etc. However, users now have the ability to quickly swipe away all similar ‘junk mail’ at once. You can also create your own Bundle by selecting the kind of messages you want to group together.

Highlights

Highlights is the most advanced feature in any mail app till date. It extracts all your key information from emails and highlights it alongside the email header. This information could be anything: flight schedules, events, photos, docs, meetups, etc. One can also add messages as a highlight. Users just ‘pin’ them similarly to how they ‘star’ important messages in Gmail. Instead of having to dig through a lot of emails, users are able to find information quickly.

Reminders/Assists

Last but not least, Reminders/Assists is an improved feature of Gmail Tasks. It lets users prioritize tasks and create reminders. Essentially, you might need to get a task done and Assists will help with that. For example, if you set a reminder to call a supermarket, your inbox will show you the store’s phone number and other relevant information.

Google Is Evolving Its Inbox Email App With New And More Powerful Integrations

“No matter what you need to remember, your inbox becomes a centralized place to keep track of the things you need to get back to,” – Pichai.

Additionally, Assists also helps you add information to other emails as well, like a link to online check-in in an in-flight booking email or a map in a reservation confirmation email for a restaurant. There is also another good feature called Snooze that allows you to ‘snooze’ reminders when you need them in a specific location.

Verdict

In a nutshell, I’ve been using Inbox by Gmail me for quite a while, and these new features are truly exciting! But there is one little problem with Inbox by Gmail; right now, it is invite-only. What this means is that you need a friend who is already using Inbox by Gmail to invite you or you have to email Google at inbox@google.com to request an invite. This is not a new move for Google; Gmail was also invite-only at the time of its launch a few years ago. Lastly, Google has not made plans to discontinue Gmail at the moment, but who knows what the future holds. As far as Inbox’s smartness is concerned, it will definitely keep Gmail users content.

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