Inbox by Gmail

Inbox by Gmail is an email service developed by Google. Announced in limited invitation-only basis on October 22, 2014, it was officially released to the public on May 28, 2015.

Available on the web, and through mobile apps for Android and iOS, Inbox by Gmail aims to improve email productivity and organization through several key features. Bundles gather emails of the same topic together, highlights surface key details from messages, and reminders, assists, and snooze functionality enable users to control when specific information appears. Updates to the service have enabled an undo send feature, a "Smart Reply" feature that automatically generates short reply examples for certain emails, integration with Google Calendar for event organization, previews of newsletters, and a "Save to Inbox" feature that lets users save links for later use.

Inbox by Gmail has received generally positive reviews. At its launch, it was called "minimalist and lovely, full of layers and easy to navigate". Its features were deemed helpful in finding the right messages, and one reviewer noted that the service "feels a lot like the future of email". However, it also received criticism, particularly for a low density of information, algorithms that need tweaking, and that the service requires users to "give up the control" on organizing their own email, meaning that "Anyone who already has a system for organizing their emails will likely find themselves fighting Google's system". Google noted in March 2016 that 10% of all replies on mobile originated from Inbox's Smart Reply feature.

In September 2018, Google announced it would end the service in March 2019. Google called Inbox "a great place to experiment with new ideas" and noted that many of those ideas had now migrated to Gmail. The company said that going forward, it wanted to focus its resources on a single email system.[3]

Inbox by Gmail
Google Inbox by Gmail logo
Inbox by Gmail running on Android Lollipop and above
Inbox by Gmail running on Android Lollipop and above
Developer(s)Google LLC
Initial release
  • October 22, 2014 (invitation-only)
  • May 28, 2015 (public)
Stable release(s) [±]
Android1.78.217178463 / October 16, 2018[1]
iOS1.3.181119 / December 11, 2018[2]
Operating systemAndroid, iOS
TypeEmail client
LicenseFreeware
Websitegoogle.com/inbox

Features

Inbox by Gmail scans the user's incoming Gmail messages for information. It gathers email messages related to the same overall topic to an organized bundle with a title describing the bundle's content. For example, flight tickets, car rentals, and hotel reservations are grouped to "Travel", giving the user an easier overview of emails. Users can also manually group emails together in order to "teach" Inbox how the user works. The service highlights key details and important information in messages, such as flight itineraries, event information, and photos and documents. Additionally, Inbox can retrieve updated information from the Internet, including real-time status of flights and package deliveries. Users can set reminders to surface important messages at a later time. At times when a user needs particular information, Inbox can assist the user by surfacing the needed details. For those times when Inbox highlights information not needed at the time, users can snooze a message or reminder, with options to make the info reappear at a later time or at a specific location.[4]

In June 2015, Google added an "Undo Send" feature to Inbox, giving users 10 seconds to undo sending a message.[5]

In November 2015, Google added "Smart Reply" functionality to the mobile apps. With Smart Reply, Inbox determines which emails can be answered with a short reply, generating three example responses, and enabling users to send one with a single tap.[6][7][8] Initially only available on the Android and iOS mobile apps, Smart Reply was added to the Inbox website in March 2016, along with Google announcing that "10% of all your replies on mobile already use Smart Reply".[9][10]

In April 2016, Google updated Inbox with three new features; Google Calendar event organization, newsletter previews, and a "Save to Inbox" functionality that lets users save links for later use rather than having to email links to themselves.[11][12]

In December 2017, Google introduced an "Unsubscribe" card that lets users easily unsubscribe from mailing lists. The card appears for email messages from specific senders that the user hasn't opened for a month.[13][14]

Several popular Inbox by Gmail features have since been added to Gmail:

  • Snoozing emails
  • Nudges. This means that Gmail moves old messages back to the top of ones inbox when it thinks you might want to follow up or reply.
  • Hover actions. This means that one can put the mouse cursor over a message and quickly take actions like archiving without opening the email.
  • Smart Reply. This feature shows suggested phrases for some emails to quickly reply.[15]

Google reportedly said that they eventually also want to add the bundles feature to Gmail, which currently is only available in Inbox for Gmail, but that they don't have a timeline for that.[16]

Platforms

Inbox by Gmail was announced in limited invitation-only basis on October 22, 2014, available on the web, and through the Android and iOS mobile operating systems.[4][17][18] It was officially released to the public on May 28, 2015.[19][20][21]

Reception

David Pierce of The Verge praised the service, writing that it's "minimalist and lovely, full of layers and easy to navigate. It's remarkably fast and smooth on all platforms, and far better on iOS than the Gmail app". However, he criticized the app's low density of information, writing that only a few emails are visible on the screen at a time, making it "a bit of a challenge" for users who need to go through "hundreds of emails" every day. Although positive that "Inbox feels a lot like the future of email", Pierce wrote that there's "plenty of algorithm tweaking and design condensing to do", with particular attention towards a "compact view" for denser view of information on the screen.[22]

Sarah Mitroff of CNET also praised Inbox, writing; "Not only is it visually appealing, it's also full of features that help you find every message you need, when you need it". She added that users must "give up the control" to organize their email, adding that "won't jibe with everyone", but admitting that "if you're willing ... the app will reward you with smarter and cleaner inbox." Mitroff did note that, initially, users must coach the app about which bundle is appropriate for some emails, writing that "It's a tedious process at first, by [sic] in just a few days Inbox starts to get it right." Regarding any downsides of the service, Mitroff wrote that "Inbox has a built-in strategy for managing your emails that works best on its own. Anyone who already has a system for organizing their emails will likely find themselves fighting Google's system".[23]

References

  1. ^ "Inbox by Gmail". APKMirror. Android Police. October 16, 2018. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  2. ^ "Inbox by Gmail". App Store. Apple Inc. December 11, 2018. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  3. ^ Izatt, Matthew (September 12, 2018). "Inbox is signing off. Find your favorite features in the new Gmail". The Keyword. Google. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Pichai, Sundar (October 22, 2014). "An inbox that works for you". Official Gmail Blog. Google. Retrieved December 28, 2016.
  5. ^ Ghoshal, Abhimanyu (June 25, 2015). "PSA: Google's Inbox also has an 'Undo Send' button". The Next Web. Retrieved December 28, 2016.
  6. ^ Miklós, Bálint (November 3, 2015). "Computer, respond to this email: Introducing Smart Reply in Inbox by Gmail". The Keyword Google Blog. Google. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  7. ^ Lunden, Ingrid (November 3, 2015). "With Smart Reply, Google's Inbox Can Now Respond To Emails For You Automatically". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  8. ^ Seifert, Dan (November 3, 2015). "Google's Inbox email app gets intelligent quick replies". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  9. ^ Kourim, Taylor (March 15, 2016). "Smart Reply comes to Inbox by Gmail on the web". The Keyword Google Blog. Google. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  10. ^ Lardinois, Frederic (March 15, 2016). "Google brings its nifty Smart Reply feature to Inbox on the web". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  11. ^ Sarkar, Pras (April 20, 2016). "Inbox by Gmail: a better way to keep track of events, newsletters and links". The Keyword Google Blog. Google. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  12. ^ Protalinski, Emil (April 20, 2016). "Google's Inbox now tracks your events, newsletters, and saved links". VentureBeat. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  13. ^ Hager, Ryne (December 14, 2017). "Inbox has a new unsubscribe card for mailing lists you don't read". Android Police. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  14. ^ Gartenberg, Chaim (December 15, 2017). "Google Inbox adds a new unsubscribe card to help clear out the emails you never read". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  15. ^ "Move from lnbox to Gmail - Inbox by Gmail Help". support.google.com. Retrieved 2019-02-24.
  16. ^ Bohn, Dieter (2018-09-12). "Google's Inbox app is shutting down in March 2019". The Verge. Retrieved 2019-02-24.
  17. ^ Bohn, Dieter (October 22, 2014). "Inbox is a total reinvention of email from Google". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  18. ^ Dredge, Stuart (October 23, 2014). "Google launches Inbox app in latest attempt to solve email headaches". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  19. ^ Gawley, Alex (May 28, 2015). "Thanks to you, Inbox by Gmail is now open to everyone". Official Gmail Blog. Google. Retrieved December 28, 2016.
  20. ^ Vincent, James (May 28, 2015). "Google's ambitious Inbox app is now available to everyone". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  21. ^ Lardinois, Frederic (May 28, 2015). "Google Opens Inbox To All, Adds Smart Reminders, Trip Bundles, Undo Send And More". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  22. ^ Pierce, David (October 22, 2014). "Using Google Inbox: this feels like the future of email". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved December 28, 2016.
  23. ^ Mitroff, Sarah (October 23, 2014). "Inbox by Gmail review". CNET. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 28, 2016.

External links

Gmail

Gmail is a free email service developed by Google. Users can access Gmail on the web and using third-party programs that synchronize email content through POP or IMAP protocols. Gmail started as a limited beta release on April 1, 2004 and ended its testing phase on July 7, 2009.

At launch, Gmail had an initial storage capacity offer of one gigabyte per user, a significantly higher amount than competitors offered at the time. Today, the service comes with 15 gigabytes of storage. Users can receive emails up to 50 megabytes in size, including attachments, while they can send emails up to 25 megabytes. In order to send larger files, users can insert files from Google Drive into the message. Gmail has a search-oriented interface and a "conversation view" similar to an Internet forum. The service is notable among website developers for its early adoption of Ajax.

Google's mail servers automatically scan emails for multiple purposes, including to filter spam and malware, and to add context-sensitive advertisements next to emails. This advertising practice has been significantly criticized by privacy advocates due to concerns over unlimited data retention, ease of monitoring by third parties, users of other email providers not having agreed to the policy upon sending emails to Gmail addresses, and the potential for Google to change its policies to further decrease privacy by combining information with other Google data usage. The company has been the subject of lawsuits concerning the issues. Google has stated that email users must "necessarily expect" their emails to be subject to automated processing and claims that the service refrains from displaying ads next to potentially sensitive messages, such as those mentioning race, religion, sexual orientation, health, or financial statements. In June 2017, Google announced the upcoming end to the use of contextual Gmail content for advertising purposes, relying instead on data gathered from the use of its other services.By February 2016, Gmail had one billion active users worldwide.

Google Calendar

Google Calendar is a time-management and scheduling calendar service developed by Google. It became available in beta release April 13, 2006, and in general release in July 2009, on the web and as mobile apps for the Android and iOS platforms.

Google Calendar allows users to create and edit events. Reminders can be enabled for events, with options available for type and time. Event locations can also be added, and other users can be invited to events. Users can enable or disable the visibility of special calendars, including Birthdays, where the app retrieves dates of births from Google contacts and displays birthday cards on a yearly basis, and Holidays, a country-specific calendar that displays dates of special occasions. Over time, Google has added functionality that makes use of machine learning, including "Events from Gmail", where event information from a user's Gmail messages are automatically added to Google Calendar; "Reminders", where users add to-do activities that can be automatically updated with new information; "Smart Suggestions", where the app recommends titles, contacts, and locations when creating events; and "Goals", where users enter information on a specified personal goal, and the app automatically schedules the activity at optimal times.

Google Calendar's mobile apps have received polarized reviews. 2015 reviews of the Android and iOS apps both praised and criticized the design. While some critics praised the design for being "cleaner", "bold" and making use of "colorful graphics", other reviewers asserted that the graphics took up too much space. The Smart Suggestions feature was also liked and disliked, with varying levels of success in the app actually managing to suggest relevant information upon event creation. The integration between Google Calendar and Gmail was praised, however, with critics writing that "all of the relevant details are there".

List of Google April Fools' Day jokes

Google frequently inserts jokes and hoaxes into its products on April Fools' Day, which takes place on April 1.

List of Google apps for Android

The list of Google apps for Android lists the mobile apps developed by Google for its Android operating system. All of these apps are available for free from the Google Play Store, although some may not show up in search results if they are listed as incompatible with your device (even though they may still function from an *.apk). Some of Google's apps may be pre-installed on some devices, depending upon the device manufacturer and the version of Android. A few of these apps, such as Gboard, are not supported on older versions of Android.

List of Google products

The following is a list of products and services provided by Google.

Mailbox (application)

Mailbox was a freeware email management application for iOS and Android, developed by Orchestra, Inc. It drew the attention of numerous technology blogs for its usability and innovative features, such as swipe-based email sorting, snoozing and filtering. Weeks before its launch, a pre-registration period resulted in a waiting list of over 380,000 reservations. Upon its iOS launch on 7 February 2013, Mailbox became the second-most-downloaded free app in the App Store that day.In March 2013, Orchestra was acquired by Dropbox. The rollout of Mailbox was sped up and the pre-registration period ended in April. In April 2014, Dropbox released Mailbox for Android and announced a public beta version for OS X, which was released in August.In December 2015, Dropbox announced the discontinuation of Mailbox, saying that they were not able to "fundamentally fix email" with it and that they rather focus on "[streamlining] the workflows that generate so much email". It was ultimately discontinued on February 26, 2016, as announced earlier.

Sparrow (email client)

Sparrow was an email client for OS X and iOS. After a 4-month beta period, Sparrow went on sale in the Mac App Store on February 9, 2011 and became the top paid and top grossing app in less than one day. On July 20, 2012, the company announced that it had been acquired by Google and was ceasing continued development of the application except for critical bug fixes.

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