Inbox is a new email service by Google that is currently being available on an invite-only basis. It is available as an application for Android and iOS, and also as a web service.
You can sign in using your Google account after you have received the invite. While it is not tied to Gmail, it shares data with Gmail which means that reading messages in the app or on the web will mark them as read on Gmail as well and vice versa.
The main idea behind Inbox is that Google does the heavy lifting for the user. It takes the categories concept that the company added a while ago to Gmail to new levels. Instead of displaying these categories as tabs, it is displaying them as bundles in the main interface instead.
Apart from the categories that are already used on Gmail, new ones have been added including finance, purchases and travels.
What is interesting here is that it is possible to create custom bundles that Google may also display in the inbox. Adding new bundles is a simple process and works much like adding labels in Gmail.
Custom bundles have many similarities to filters. You select what you want bundled, different email addresses or subjects for instance, and whether you want the bundle to be displayed in the inbox and if you want to be notified about new mail by the app.
All emails in a bundle can be marked as done with a single swipe on mobile or with a click on the mark done icon in the web interface.
Another option that Google has added to Inbox is the ability to add reminders to the inbox. Reminders are displayed at the top of the inbox so that they are in view all the time.
It appears that reminders do more than just sit there at the top, as Google seems to actively crawl matching emails. If you set a reminder for an UPS package for instance, Inbox may pick up UPS emails with tracking numbers automatically for you.
Inbox aims to make things simpler and more convenient to users, and it will appeal to mobile users especially because of that.
It is not something that I will be using even while on the go. I prefer to use a traditional desktop client -- Thunderbird -- when I work at home and have no need for a web interface there.
What about you? Have you tried Inbox yet? What is your take on it?
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
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.