Inbox for Gmail Makes Your Inbox Cleaner

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Inbox iconInbox

If you have been using Gmail, check out this new app called Inbox developed by the Gmail team. All in all, it makes your list of messages in Gmail more appealing, organized and less cluttered in a brand new design.

Rather than grouping your messages into categories like Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates and Forums, the new app now lists all messages in one page chronologically, with a clear section for today, yesterday, this month and so on, and with some contents or attachments displayed in graphics.

In each section, messages of the same sort are bundled up with a label so that they don’t look crowded. To view bundled messages, tap a bundle and it expands into a full list. You have a choice to bundle or unbundle messages under a label, and add a new label to automatically bundle new messages matching the criteria you set.

For important messages that you used to mark starred, you can pin them instead. Viewing only pinned messages is easy with a noticeable pin slider at the top of the header.

For old messages that you used to archive, you can now swipe right to move them to a newly created “Done” folder, or if you like, tap a check sign to sweep all unpinned messages in a section to this folder as well. Previously all archived messages were mixed with others under the label “All Mail” in Gmail, but it’s now much clearer and easier to find in this "Done" folder.

On top of this, Inbox has a reminder feature. You can add a new item to remind you about things to be done when you reach the Inbox, or dealing with existing messages, swipe left to move them to a “Snoozed” folder and set a date, time or place that you want to see them again in the Inbox folder.

Composing a new message is intuitive by touching a plus icon, and sending a message to a recent recipient is just one tap away.

To run Inbox, download the app from Google Play or Apple's App Store to your mobile, or head to inbox.google.com to use the web version, which currently works in Chrome. As of this writing, Inbox is only enabled after you’ve received an invitation. No invitation yet? email Google at inbox@google.com to get one as soon as more become available.

To catch a glimpse of how Inbox works, watch this official video from Google:

 

 

Inbox — Free Mobile App of the Week

For Android
Size: 37 MB
Download: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.inbox

For iPhone
Size: 32.7 MB
Download: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/inbox-by-gmail-inbox-that/id905060486?mt=8

 

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This article is maintained by volunteer editor Jojo Yee. Registered members can contact the editor with comments or suggestions by clicking here. You can visit the Google+ profile page of Jojo Yee here.

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Comments

Dropbox has a good email app. Most of my email work is done on my desktop and Gmail works for me. I hate the "invitation" game.

You have sucked me in with the tentative promise of an invite. I use gmail for hours every and there is certainly some need for improved functionality. My main concern, at this time, is the date of the invite, so that I can try INBOX on my iPad1, which operates with IOS 5.1.1. I suspect your app will insist on at least IOS 6, which will be another added incentive for me to buy a new iPad.
Right now I give the app, INBOX, ZERO (0) stars and I don't feel too kindly to the smug Gmail team, who tried to suck me. In.
I AIN'T. NO SUCKER. at least until the Fat Lady Sings.

It's kind of bull sh** that they let you download and install the app and then tell you you can't use it till you get invited. WTF Google? Are you trying to out weird Microsoft? I installed it. Anyway, I don't trust Google to bundle it correctly. They messed up often when they sorted by category. I don't expect them to get this right either.

Why even review a freeware app that is not freely available to all users. ???

When it comes to Google, it has a history of shackling new services to an invitation-only scheme, and this seems to work well for the company. Back in 2004, when Gmail was an infant email service, for instance, invitations were in such high demand, they became status symbols. After all, the company kept a selective pool of users for three years.

It also displays all graphics in email messages and there is no option to disable that. By default I have that option disabled in Gmail on desktop since some of the marketing email I get I have have no desire to see graphics. If I do I simply click on the link that the normal Gmail provides. Although Gmail does do good spam filtering some email does get through and spammers can use web bugs to alert them when graphics are loaded from their server.

I had submitted my request to Google 2 weeks ago and was still waiting for my invite when on Nov 5th Google has a 1 hour period during which you could submit a request for Inbox and Google filled all those requests.

I just spent 3.5 hours setting up Inbox by Gmail on the web interface. I do a vast majority of my work in Gmail via my desktop computer. I figured I would give Inbox a try. All the items discussed here are referring to the web version of Inbox by Gmail.

Well the inbox.google.com version has some shortcomings. Some of then may be a result of adapting what primarily is a mobile GUI to the web/desktop version. As soon as I configured my account I noticed one glaring problem.

Inbox decided to categorize emails from several senders as either Updates or Promos. In Gmail these emails were being assigned a label by a filter. Removing an email from a particular sender from a bundle requires you to perform at least 4 different mouse clicks and does initially appear to trickle down to the emails that remain in the bundle. In order to have the change take effect on all the emails in that bundle one has to close and reopen the bundle.

If you are not diligent in performing actions on messages it is easy to not see unread emails especially if these emails are in bundles. That is because bundles are shown in a collapsed state normally and unread emails are shown as having their from address bolded in the bundle's header. There is no unread message count shown in the bundle's header only the total number of messages read and unread in the bundle. If you are not diligent and fall behind performing actions on these emails that count can not be relied on as an indicator that there unread emails.

If you happen to look at an email its unread status (bolded subject) becomes read (unbolded) and there does not appear to be any way of changing the read status back to unread.

There is a fair amount of whitespace main view in inbox.google.com. It is caused in part by the GUI using icons at the left hand side of each message header as well as whitespace between each message header. On my 23" monitor inbox.google.com was able to display 18 email message headers vs the 33 email headers in Gmail's compact view.

I am not a proponent of Inbox 0. I find that its a game that one plays to see if one can rein supreme by clearing out your inbox for a small amount of time. That is a never ending battle that makes one a bit of a slave to your email.

I will be sticking to the normal Gmail interface on the web and the regular Gmail app on iOS and Android.

Good comments snowbound999. Same as you, I don't see that it has an option to mark a message as unread in the new design. Likely this is intended as now you can pin an important message that you want to read again for it to appear always at the top, or snooze it until it automatically returns to the inbox later.