As you may know already, Google has added a new feature to its Gmail email service that it states will put you back in control of your inbox. The feature will roll out over the coming weeks with many Gmail users reporting that it has been already activated for their account.
You can check that easily with a click on the settings icon in the top right corner on Gmail. If Configure Inbox is displayed there in the context menu, your account has been updated.
A click on the link opens a small overlay screen that you use to configure the feature. You need to move the mouse cursor over items to display information about each tab that you can enable on Gmail.
Anyway, up to five tabs are displayed on top of the list of emails. These tabs act as filters that sort emails based on type using algorithms.
The five tabs that you can activate here are the following:
The sorting works considerable well where social is concerned, but that is to be expected as Google is probably filtering messages by domain here. The remaining tabs all include messages that should have been sorted into different tabs. The updates and forums tab included press releases for instance which does not really fit either of the groups.
While it is possible to move mails around via drag and drop, it is clear that you will have to monitor all tabs regularly because of this and can't just ignore the social tab or any of the other tabs completely as you may miss out on emails.
You can turn off the new tabs easily again.
When you go back to your inbox, you notice that all tabs have been removed from it again.
Google has created a video that demonstrates the new functionality of the inbox.
The sorting works fine for most emails that you receive but not for all of them. This makes it less usable than it should be, as it forces you to monitor all tabs at all times to catch misfiled emails.
It is also making it difficult to check all new emails as you now may have to click on different tabs to read them all. Gmail indicates new mail on the tab headers which helps somewhat, but you will still have to click up to four times more than previously.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.