Google has launched its new Inbox by Gmail service to a select few users. It’s a new approach to managing your emails designed not only to bunch relevant messages together, but even sort small bits of information from different emails in to a single screen.
The California company, almost as famous for email as it is for web search, says it’s been developing Inbox for years. It’s made by the same people that brought us the original Gmail except, as Google itself points out: “It’s not Gmail: it’s a completely different type of inbox, designed to focus on what really matters”.
If you're one of the countless masses that has trouble keeping track of your hundreds of weekly emails, then this might be your solution. Google certainly hopes it will be.
Bundles: Works similarly to the Primary/Social/Promotions/Updates/Forums sorting system introduced to Gmail in 2013. It goes a little further this time. Things like receipts are all bundled automatically together as well. You can even teach Inbox by Gmail the kinds of emails you’d like to see bundled together if you like. Once you’re done with a bundle, you just swipe it away.
Highlights: Collects important bits of information from numerous emails; such as flight data, travel plans or event info and puts them all in one section. It even collates relevant data from other sources, like documents and photos sent to you by your contacts. Finally, it proactively seeks other sources of information from the web, such as your flight status or transport routes to the airport, without your asking it to.
Reminders: Lets you quickly set reminders about the info received in an email. The idea is that Inbox won’t just function as your email inbox, but as your go-to place for keeping track of your life.
Assists: Works in tandem with Reminders. Useful bits of information, such as how to best accomplish a task you’ve set in Reminders, is tracked down and made available to you. If the reminder is to book a flight, Assists will try to add a link for you to follow. If it’s to call someone, it will search for the appropriate phone number and embed it in the Reminder.
Snooze: You can deactivate alerts and notifications, either now or at a pre-set future date, for a specified amount of time.
How to get invited
Getting invited is simple, although not guaranteed. Just send an email off to [email protected] and ask for one. With any luck you’ll be picked to test out the new service. Just remember: if you do get lucky it’s still in the testing phases, so there might be one or two bugs to be worked out.