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 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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  • nathanddrews - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    Not sure if that was an ad for a new app or a hipster tutorial.

    As long as I get the option to opt out, I'm cool. I can manage my own email, thanks.
  • xilience - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    It's currently invite-only, and I imagine they won't force people to use it once it's gone public.

    Though I think it looks very cool. I was hesitant to use their 'Categories' because I have my email all nicely filtered into different folders automatically. However, this goes way beyond that, and I expect their algorithms would keep getting smarter, as opposed to me manually updating my filters every few months.
  • nathanddrews - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    I just make an effort to unsubscribe or not sign up for things in the first place. Honestly, calling it an effort is overstating it. I never get unwanted email and I can manually manage the emails that I do get.

    Google Now already does some of the things that Inbox does and more; package tracking, setting reminders, TV schedules, product sales, movie showtimes, weather updates, traffic updates, etc.
  • xilience - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    I'm glad to hear you have your email all organized. But you could imagine a case where another person, not you just to be clear, does not have it worked out so well.

    Maybe they use their email in a different way that you, so that the influx of emails do require some effort to keep track of. Or maybe they use their email for team collaboration, tracking tasks, etc.

    This new application could be beneficial to those people. I'm looking forward to trying it out and seeing if it fits my usage of email.
  • Daniel Egger - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    Of course they will force it onto people. Google would like to introspect your data as much as possible so they can sell perfectly targeted ads and user profiles and this Inbox looks like a very good reason for them to ask for consent to even deeper introspection then they already have in place for Gmail now.
  • ruggia - Thursday, October 23, 2014 - link

    well, if they were serious about forcing this onto people, won't they have just made this the next major update for Gmail?
    The fact that they have delegated a special app for it shows that they are drawing a fine line between the two, at least for now.
  • nathanddrews - Thursday, October 23, 2014 - link

    If history has shown us anything, it's that a Google BETA app is destined to become integrated with Gmail at some point.
  • piiman - Saturday, October 25, 2014 - link

    You can always opt out. Stop using it!
  • SantaAna12 - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    I use gmail, but not sure about this.

    About Google forcing the issue......Google forcing people to sign up for Google + to make an app review on the play store is an example. No "opting out" on that one.
    Bing it.

    Really put a sour taste in my mouth.
  • xilience - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    Just got a delivery failure when sending to the request invite email address, =(

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