Google terminates Google Inbox service - gHacks Tech News

Google terminates Google Inbox service

Google Gmail product manager Matthew Izatt revealed today on the official The Keyword blog of the company that Google Inbox is being retired in 2019.

Google launched Inbox in 2014 as an alternative to the company's popular Gmail web service.  Back then, many assumed that Google would move all Gmail users to Google Inbox.

Inbox was an experimental playground of sorts that Gmail users could switch to (and from) easily as it used the same account and data sources as Gmail.

Google Inbox was launched as an invite-only service in 2014. One of the main ideas behind Inbox was that it was designed to make things easier for users by sorting emails into categories and user defined bundles (which work similarly to filters for the most part).

When I reviewed Inbox back in 2014 I quickly realized that the service was not something that I wanted to use. It started with a single compose line for heaven's sake.

Other points of criticism were that it was Google Chrome exclusive in the beginning, that it did not display a lot of emails at once on the screen even on the desktop, that it hid all labels by default, and that you could not disable notifications in the web interface.

Firefox users and users of other browsers could change the user agent of the web browser to access Inbox.

In 2015, Google introduced a new feature in Inbox that predicted replies by analyzing emails. Hailed as a way to speed up replies, it was merely suggesting short answers that anyone could type in a matter of seconds manually as well.

For me, Inbox was an attempt to simplify email and while it certainly had some interesting features, Inbox was too simplified and not really usable because of that.

Things went quiet afterward and Google neglected Inbox for the most part. The company launched a new interface for Gmail this year which introduced several Inbox features.

Google revealed that it will terminate Google Inbox in March 2019. Users who have used Inbox are asked to switch back to Gmail. Google published a support page that it says should help users transition from Inbox to Gmail.

The page suggests alternatives for the Inbox features pin, bundles and reminders. For pinning emails, Google suggests to either use stars or custom labels, and use the search tool to find starred or labeled messages.

For bundles, Google suggests to use filters and labels, and for reminders Google Tasks or Google Keep.

Closing Words

I know quite a few Gmail users who switched to Inbox when it was released. These users will have to switch back; good news is that the data itself remains the same and that users don't have to do any importing or exporting.

Bad news is that some features are not available on Gmail and that Inbox users may have to use suggested alternatives, e.g. labels or filters, or stop using certain features as they are not available.

Now You: Are you affected by the termination of Google Inbox?

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Google terminates Google Inbox service
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Google terminates Google Inbox service
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Google Gmail product manager Matthew Izatt revealed today on the official The Keyword blog of the company that Google Inbox is being retired in 2019.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. ilev said on September 13, 2018 at 8:40 am
    Reply

    Another Google failure.

    1. Ban me said on September 13, 2018 at 10:15 am
      Reply

      Another Martin “The Censor” Brinkmann failure. Inbox worked way better on mobile than on desktop, there is Inbox app for mobile devices, Inbox also got updated frequently.

      Martin’s opinion was formed back in 2015 and so is this article.

      Time to find a Google alternative.

      1. Jason Kratz said on September 13, 2018 at 3:00 pm
        Reply

        What a bunch of nonsense. Inbox did not get updated frequently. The feature set has been the same since 2015. and I’m not sure how it worked “way better on mobile than on desktop”. I used both a preferred using it on desktop by far.

        Inbox certainly wasn’t for everyone. I happened to love it and used it mostly during my weekly review because the bundles were superb for that function.

        There is no non-Google alternative to Inbox.

      2. ShintoPlasm said on September 14, 2018 at 6:54 am
        Reply

        Dude, this is a news blog – not the New York Times. Martin is entitled to report on matters from a slightly personal viewpoint, though thankfully he is quite objective and neutral in most things. If he dislikes Inbox, what’s it to you?

      3. John Fenderson said on September 14, 2018 at 5:43 pm
        Reply

        @ShintoPlasm

        I agree. From my time following Martin’s pieces, I believe that he is fair and accurate, but he is also expressing his own viewpoint. That’s a good thing, not a bad thing. I read sites like this not so much for “just the facts” news reporting, but for analysis and discussion, and Martin’s perspective is an important part of the appeal of this site to me.

  2. Anonymous said on September 13, 2018 at 10:07 am
    Reply

    “In 2015, Google introduced a new feature in Inbox that predicted replies by analyzing emails. Hailed as a way to speed up replies, it was merely suggesting short answers that anyone could type in a matter of seconds manually as well.”

    I had not heard about that one. Google knows us better than our friends and family, maybe better than ourselves, it’s normal that they write our emails for us. I can’t wait for the time when they will use our credit card numbers to buy the things they know we should have.

    1. Peterc said on September 13, 2018 at 6:46 pm
      Reply

      Starting several months ago, I think, I started noticing what looked to be canned replies — short, generic sentences like “You bet!”, “Sounds good!”, and “I’ll have to think about it.” — in replies sent by my dad from his iPhone. Much more recently, proposed canned replies have begun showing up when *I* get an email in Gmail, in both my Android Gmail app and on my laptop (since the “new, improved” Gmail interface got forced on me).

      At first, I joked that someone should hack Gmail and replace all of the canned replies with “TL;DR;FU”, until I realized that what they *really* mean is, “I’m over 30 and replying from a smartphone, and if I had to type out a complete, fully responsive personal reply, I might literally die of frustration or old age before finishing it. And also, TL;DR;FU.” ;-)

      So do I like the canned replies? I *do* hate typing on my smartphone, but I also hate getting boilerplate replies and feel guilty about sending them, so … “I’ll have to think about it.”

  3. nik said on September 13, 2018 at 11:58 am
    Reply

    Classic Google

  4. Beatbox said on September 13, 2018 at 1:20 pm
    Reply

    Today, I got rid of Google Chrome and all it’s junk and clutter….
    I now use Chromium, Iridium and Tor browsers for my aged windows 7 laptop.
    It seems so much quicker on start up and everyday tasks.
    Goodbye, Google Chrome you won’t be missed.

    1. ShintoPlasm said on September 13, 2018 at 3:02 pm
      Reply

      Why would you use three different Chromium flavours separately?

      1. Anonymous said on September 13, 2018 at 4:48 pm
        Reply

        Chromium: For general browsing
        Iridium: For internet banking
        Tor: For porn

      2. Anonymous said on September 13, 2018 at 6:52 pm
        Reply

        Tor Browser is based on Firefox, which, strictly speaking, is not Chromium.

  5. ULBoom said on September 13, 2018 at 7:28 pm
    Reply

    What’s Inbox?

    Guess I’m not affected.

  6. MarkMyWords said on September 14, 2018 at 3:57 am
    Reply

    Using mail clients, such as Thunderbird, and storing mails locally has always been the proper way to deal with e-mails; and this won’t change any time soon, if ever. Whatever mail providers have to offfer as alternatives, it sucks.

  7. A. said on September 14, 2018 at 4:31 pm
    Reply

    I used Inbox to manage a trip in Google Trips, as it was the only way to include/exclude a certain email to/from a trip. This was the only way to (sort of, as it as still a bit clumsy) manually associate an email with a trip. Now I guess there won’t be any, will there?

  8. Mikhoul said on September 14, 2018 at 5:39 pm
    Reply

    It was so good and popular the it is being axed….

    Maybe if you don’t like Martin article you should not come here to read them…. or you’re just a troll with no life.

  9. Alex said on September 14, 2018 at 11:32 pm
    Reply

    You got me there for a second or two – I was starting to wonder how on earth can e-mail work without an Inbox.

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