The Gmail team over at Google has released a new app / service called “Inbox.” (inbox.google.com) (iOS App Store, Google Play) Note: This does NOT replace Gmail, and you need an invitation from Google for your Gmail account to work with the app. (Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an invite)
This will be just a quick look, but I’ll start by saying this. If it were a perfect world, all the great features we’re about to look at should be standard in every email service. Especially for mobile applications. All that mail that I debate on unsubscribing from now has a place to go. Inbox saved me a huge hassle. I want to stop getting email altogether sometimes.
A linear list of emails from 100 different sources is no more.
Much more after the break:
Why did I choose this for a post? Because it intrigued me to the point where I was compelled to go all out and switch to a Gmail account. It took me a solid hour or so to get all my sites’ email addresses changed to the new one as well as forwarding some of it. I believe that it was well worth it, for now. Soon all the email apps and providers will contain this specific functionality. They should have from the start. I’m surprised it took this long. I’m surprised that Google / Gmail was the first to bring it mainstream. There’s probably a few underdogs out there with similar functionality.
Very simply, Inbox categorizes all your email. The categories are preset. Inbox takes the “almost junk” newsletters and “Bundles” them together as you can see in the image above. Newsletters are considered “Promos,” Any email from a social network just reminding or notifying me of something new, is considered an “Update.” There’s also Finance, Forums, Travel, and Purchases categories. You can imagine what they hold.
Once a few emails are Bundled there’s this PERFECT ability to mark all in that Bundle as “Done.” Being marked as Done means a mix between trashed, and marked as read. It simply puts it on the Done page, which you can access via the sidebar list shown in the photo. This small piece here is a game changer for me. I can peek at the contents of the bundle and know whether or not I’m going to look at any of them, and prepare for a quick delete.
At this point, you can fan out the Bundle and view your email in the linear fashion as we’re used to.
Simple? I think so. Almost not even worth the review! But mind-blowing that this hasn’t happened already as I said earlier.
A couple more things to touch on that separates this service from the rest.
Pinning. If you’re Done with something, you can resurrect it from the Done page, back to your Inbox by Pinning it.
Reminders. You can set reminders that show up pinned to the top of your Inbox. If you’re an email freak, you’ll no longer need your Notes app.
Snooze. Exactly what you think. Snooze an email to reappear in your Inbox at a later time when you have the time to read it.
I went through hell just to be able to use this service, porting over to a Gmail account, and it was well worth it. There’s no more missing emails, no more deleting all of them out of anger. Ask Google for an invite to Inbox, and enjoy this freedom for yourself.
Inbox by Gmail is a no-nonsense streamlined version of your favorite email app.
Update 11/6/14: The best part is that it is ALL inline. Emails just glide open into view on the same homepage. Extremely simple interface. I’d say it looks cheesy, but It’s only email. It’s perfect.
Update #2 11/13/14: Quick tip! You can use it with one hand, all the time. Just scroll up or down as far as you can while in an email or in a category list, and it brings you back a page. So convenient.
What do you think about Inbox!?
// P.S. Welcome back to UnrealBanter. 🙂 I’m happy to be back. Not sure how often I will post. Promises will not be made this time around. //