In yet another effort to reinvent email (remember Wave?), Google has unveiled a new application that aims to streamline your email management via its gen-next features. Dubbed Inbox, the app is currently invite-only, and works on Android (version 4.1 Jelly Bean or up), iOS (7 or up), and the web (Chrome only).
In this article, we will discuss the basics of Inbox, as well as the features it provides.
What is Inbox
Designed to focus on what really matters, Inbox is by the same people who brought you Gmail, but it’s not Gmail. You can think of it as an alternative interface to your Gmail account that intends to help you easily sort through your email clutter by featuring important stuff and grouping emails in the same thread as well as those related to similar topics.
Inbox achieves what it claims via three main features: Bundles, Highlights, and the trio of Reminders, Assists, and Snooze.
Building upon the Categories feature that was introduced in Gmail last year, Bundles make it easy to deal with similar types of mail all at once. For example, the feature groups together all your purchase receipts or bank statements so that you can quickly review them. In addition, you can even teach Inbox to adapt to the way you work by choosing which emails you’d like to see grouped together.
The Highlights feature, as the name suggests, is used by Inbox to highlight the key information from important messages, such as flight itineraries, event information, and photos and documents emailed to you by friends and family. In addition, the feature also allows the app to display useful information from the web that wasn’t in the original email, such as the real-time status of your flights and package deliveries and more.
Inbox also features Reminders, Assists and Snooze. You can create Reminders about your tasks, duties, interests, and more, while Assists augment Reminders by surfacing relevant information. For example, if you write a Reminder to call the hardware store, Inbox will supply the store’s phone number and tell you if it’s open. Similarly, if you make a restaurant reservation online, Inbox adds a map to your confirmation email. Finally, Snooze, as the name suggests, will let you dismiss emails and Reminders temporarily. You can not only set them to come back at another time but also when you get to a specific location, like your home or your office.
Interested in Inbox
If you are interested in giving Inbox a shot, just email the Mountain View, California-based company at firstname.lastname@example.org to get an invitation. Alternatively, those who already have access to Inbox can also invite you to join the service.
What do we think
Inbox seems to be an amalgamation of Google Now and Gmail, aimed at making email more intuitive. As for whether it will replace your beloved Gmail, Google says that the popular email service, which has more than 1 billion users on Android alone, is “still there for you”, although the question is for how long, given that some are already predicting that the search giant will kill Gmail within the next five years.