Today Google announced a new Gmail related product that has been years in the making. It's called Inbox, and it's a re-imagining of the email inbox to adapt to the changes in how email is used that have occurred over the past few decades. With email becoming more prominent, and increasingly focused on sending media as well as text, there have always been initiatives to better adapt the email inbox to these changes. Last year Google introduced categories to the Gmail inbox which sorts emails into different sections such as Social emails, Promotions, and Updates. Inbox expands upon these concepts to better organize your mail.

Bundles are a new feature within Inbox that expand upon categories by grouping emails into specific groups. For example, all purchase receipts and financial statements are grouped together so they can be easily found and navigated. Inbox can also group emails based on ways you specify.

Highlights is a feature that grabs the relevant information from emails and presents it in an easily readable manner. Google claims Inbox will even add additional information not explicitly stated in emails like package tracking status or flight times.

Reminders allows the user to set reminders from within the app, and Assists are cards that Google will bring up with information that may help a user complete a task they have reminded themselves to do. These can also be snoozed if they come up at an inconvenient time.

Inbox is currently in a closed beta, and Google is already sending out the first round of invitations to users. Users who are invited will be able to invite their friends to join the beta program as well. Users can also email inbox@google.com to get invites as soon as the next wave becomes available. Google has put together a video explaining the features and benefits of Inbox, which has been embedded below.

Source: Official Google Blog

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  • SpartanJet - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    I guess this is a way to scan more emails. No thanks. Reply
  • shabby - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    It seems like its gmail + google now rolled into one. I wonder how they'll integrate ads... oh you like kfc? Popeyes is better! Reply
  • Gigaplex - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    They already have access to your inbox. They don't need a new UI to scan your email. Reply
  • Azurael - Friday, October 24, 2014 - link

    Err, because Gmail isn't already scanning on all the email you receive? Go put your tinfoil hat back on and climb back into your cellar. If you cared about privacy and keeping things away from the NSA, you wouldn't be using it in the first place. Reply
  • Communism - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    Monetizing tools made as a contractor for the NSA.

    Classic Google.
    Reply
  • MathieuLF - Thursday, October 23, 2014 - link

    Uh no. Reply
  • Murloc - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    I think the experience may be inconsistent at least in the beginning, especially with multiple languages, postal services, airlines and everyone using his own formatting. I guess it will get better with time.

    If they give you the automatic algorhytm but also allow you to force conditions (like treat e-mails from this recipient as a work e-mail, or stuff like that), it might be a cool feature.

    Honestly though, unless you receive more than let's say 10 e-mails every 6 hours (if you check your e-mail every 6 hours), categorization doesn't seem much of an improvement to me.
    If you are subject to a constant barrage of e-mails, I guess being able to see with a quick look that it's all work e-mails or e-mails related to something that can wait until later, and dealing immediately only with the other ones, would be a pretty useful feature. Having a ready-made algorhytm instead of having to create your own categories is useful.
    The problem is that you have to be able to trust it.

    The snooze feature is a separate useful feature. Like make it so that the e-mail gets "resent" to your inbox 6 hours later when you can deal with it.

    As far as privacy goes, that's been gone for a long time.
    Reply
  • althaz - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    Looks very cool! I've basically abandoned Android and am using Windows Phone as my daily driver (as I find it superior in most respects), but more stuff like this, if it's well executed might be able to persuade me to come back (unless it gets copied by MS in the next year or so). Reply
  • tayb - Friday, October 24, 2014 - link

    Got the invite, tried to use it, and it doesn't work for Google Apps accounts. What the fuck Google? You lock out your only paying customers??? I'm not going to manage a Gmail app and an Inbox app. Figure your shit out and start treating your paying customers better. Ridiculous! Reply
  • name99 - Friday, October 24, 2014 - link

    Yeah, Google's relation to Apps (or Domains, or whatever they're calling it these days) customers is totally broken. It took them forever to get single sign-on working acceptably, but they seem to have learned nothing from that.

    Basically the take-away message, IMHO, is don't ever rely on Google for anything serious and longterm. They're fine for core products (eg search, presumably GMail) but ANYTHING that's not core, even if you're paying for it, just can't be trusted.
    Reply

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