Inbox by Gmail is Google’s latest attempt to make email more user friendly and intuitive. Many companies have claimed to reinvent the way we work with email and we have sort of become guinea pigs in those various attempts to do so. At the end of it all, we are still searching for that elusive solution that will make our Inboxes work like we want it to.
Google like many others is still working on it and their latest experiment (Inbox by Gmail) is yet another attempt to make us unlearn and relearn how we should be using our email clients. We take a look at the Android app to see if they have succeeded in their attempts, at least just a little bit, if not completely.
Inbox by Gmail Android App Review
Inbox by Gmail is currently available only on invite. Google Inbox Invites are rather exclusive at the moment but there are happy hours available if you scour the web, or you could just email [email protected] to request for one. When you do get an invite and launch the app, you’ll be instantly drawn to its beautiful Material Design.
Your messages and grouped by day and as you scroll down, by month. There are various labels and icons popping up everywhere on the screen and it can get a bit intimidating at first.
Within the day or month view, you can find your email displayed in labels/tabs (or Bundles as they are now called). There are plenty of default bundles such as Travel, Purchases, Promos, Finance and such, but you can turn off ones you don’t like and create your own bundles if you want to.
One of the most attractive features of bundles is that along with the gist of the email, you also get a small preview card of what it contains. You can set individual notifications for each bundle so you have more control over how things flow into your Inbox.
When you click on a label/Bundle, you’ll see a list of email in that category and you can choose to snooze an email by swiping left or swiping right to mark it as done. Snoozing places your email in a separate place and when the set time arrives, it returns to the top of the Inbox for action.
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Marking an item as Done will make it disappear from your Inbox, an indication that you’re done with the message and won’t be needing it anymore.
Sweep is another interesting functionality in Inbox by Gmail. It lets you bulk mark email messages as done or read. This works great on bundles especially Social messages, which you tend to receive a lot of and which can be quickly marked as done by the tap of a button; no need to select email messages or bundles. Just hit the Sweep icon to brush the whole thing off.
Inbox by Gmail’s other great feature is Reminders. Clicking the big red + button at the bottom of the screen lets you do plenty more, such as compose new email, add reminders, and even displays email addresses or names of people you frequently get in touch with or recently contacted so you can quickly connect with them.
Inbox by Gmail is definitely a whole new way of doing the same things you’ve been doing before. As I mentioned at the start, its all about unlearning the things you’re a pro at, and starting afresh with every new iteration. Inbox definitely has some interesting and intuitive ways of dealing with email, but its easy to get lost in all that noise.
This is an application that is just not going to impress you right away. its messy, its noisy, and its just not how you want something that’s going to change the way you work with email look like. An old time Gmail user is probably not going to be too keen on Inbox by Gmail, but the young crowd could easily go for it.
As I mentioned before, the app is not available for immediate download. You must request for an invite to try it out. When you do, be sure to tell us your thoughts on the app.?