Google’s on a mission to reinvent email. Its weapon: Inbox, a standalone app that launched last week.
Inbox aims to make email more useful with several new tools. It surfaces relevant content (photos, for example) and information from within individual messages so you don’t have to open anything to get at what you really want. Bundles sort your messages for you, letting you find important messages faster. Plus you can add your own reminders that work with Google Now.
But there’s something important that Inbox isn’t: Gmail. Although the whole aim of Google Inbox is to make email more useful, it’s not intended to replace the Gmail experience. Yet.
“The way that people deal with their inbox has changed dramatically,” says Alex Gawley, product director of Gmail and Inbox. “We found people really wanted to run their life through their inbox — there was so much information there — but it was a lot of work for them.”
Inbox vs. Gmail
Inbox is so radically different from Gmail (and other email services) that Google is clearly proceeding cautiously. If Facebook is any indication, users tend to react negatively to big redesigns when they have no say in them, and Gmail’s introduction of automatically organized tabs last year received its share of criticism before everyone quieted down and saw how useful it was. Read more