In a bit of a surprise announcement today, Google decided to announce a new product of theirs’. “Years in the making”, Google says that Inbox, though developed by the Gmail team, is a whole new way to send and receive emails.
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.
Along with a fresh UI that doesn’t look anything like an email client, Inbox boasts three innovating features: Bundles, Highlights, and Reminders.
It is worth noting first that Inbox is currently in invite-only mode. People using the service are given invites that they can send out to friends, but those who cannot wait are able to email Google and will receive invites upon availability.
As oppose to just giving you your emails, Inbox calculates the information you need from them and presents it to you. With Bundles, similar emails are grouped together (i.e. your bank statements), allowing a brief overview that allows you to quickly dismiss unwanted content. Over time Inbox can adapt and determine which emails you want grouped.
Next are Highlights. Inbox is able to “highlight” important info from your emails like flight itineraries or event information and displays them in a simple way. Additionally, information not included in the email from the web is also pulled up to give you everything you could want to know. Highlights and Bundles are described to work together to “give you just the information you need at a glance.”
Finally, Inbox allows you to set different kinds of reminders. Sure, you can add things like “walk the dog” to it, but Inbox takes these a step further. With “assets”, Inbox will pull in information about your task for you. Say you want to go to the hardware store. Assets tells you if the store is open and will give you the contact information. Additionally, using its intelligence, assets are also placed within emails. A map to the restaurant you reserved will appear in your confirmation email, and a link to checkin will appear next to your flight ticket. However, for those times when you’re in a time crunch and aren’t able to process your emails, snooze options are available for emails and reminders.
Overall, Inbox is a great improvement over Gmail. It’s available on the web, Android (With that fantastic Material Design look), and iOS. Just keep in mind that for the meantime it’s invite only.
Update – If you can’t wait and want to take the risk, you can find the APK floating around on the internet, however it looks like Google are checking the invites, so you may not be able to use it.