Google Inbox, launched today, aims to move away from Gmail’s chronological email inbox to an interactive experience more in line with mobile technology by allowing users to bundle related messages, highlight and save important information, and set reminders for upcoming tasks.
The company has been experimenting with sorting emails by subject matter for nearly a year, and now Google Inbox will help users create folders, called Bundles, of related content, like bank statements, for easier accessibility.
The Inbox Highlights feature will store key information from important emails, such as flight itineraries, and will also offer supplementary information that wasn’t included in the initial email. For example, if a user highlights an airline email, Inbox might also include a flight status update alongside the Highlight.
Finally, a Reminders feature will build on the current Google calendar program by providing “assists” to set tasks. In Inbox, if a user sets a reminder to pick up their dry cleaning, assists will provide the address of the cleaner, or if Inbox users get an email restaurant reservation confirmation, assists will add a map to the message.
Currently, Inbox is available by invitation only, but ClickZ was lucky enough to receive an Inbox account.
Below is a screenshot of the Reminders screen in the Inbox mobile app.
Reminders can be snoozed away.
Here is a view of how Highlights might appear in mobile.
And a sample Bundles screen on mobile.
While Inbox works on both desktop and mobile, Google doesn’t seem eager to replace Gmail with the new product any time soon. Messages, contacts, and labels from Gmail will also show up in Inbox, and actions taken in one product, for example, deleting a message, will automatically carry over to the other.
Google has already sent the first round of invitations, and each new user is able to invite friends. Those interested an invitation can email Google to be included in subsequent rounds of invites.
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