Why I won't be using Google's Inbox
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,Â Inbox may pick up UPS emails with tracking numbers automatically for you.
- Inbox works only in Google Chrome at the time of writing and not in other browsers. If you don't use Chrome and don't want to use it, you cannot use Inbox on the desktop right now.
- The Inbox app displays only a handful of emails on the screen. If you receive only a few or have Zero-Inbox policy you may not mind that, but if you don't, you need to do a lot of swiping to access all your mails.
The compose interface of the app displays a single line only to compose the email.This is no longer the case.
- The web interface hides all labels in a sidebar. You need to click on the Hamburger Menu icon to display it as there is no option to display it at all times.
- It is possible to disable notifications for bundles in the mobile app but not on the web interface.
- Google Apps not working right now.
- To achieve the bundling and highlighting of important emails, Google analyzes the emails that you get. While that is done by a computer, I dislike the idea of that happening at all.
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?Advertisement