Inbox by Gmail has been on a lot of mind’s these last couple of days. Thanks to invite system and its claim to re-invent email, it’s a hot commodity that a lot of people want to try for themselves. In this short video (linked above), we’ll take a quick look at Inbox by Gmail to see what it’s really like.
The first thing you’ll likely notice when you open this application is that it’s very busy. There is a lot of information to digest all at once and it’ll probably take a little bit of time before you figure out everything that you’re seeing. To keep it simple, this is essentially a feed of all of your emails and reminders with a toggle at the top to show only your reminders or your reminders plus your email.
Depending on how organized you are, your Inbox will either be a clean, easy to understand thing or a total confusing mess that you couldn’t navigate with a map. It splits up emails based on when they were received along with their labels so you’ll see stuff from today, yesterday, last month as well as different icons and colors for their individual labels. It’s a little overwhelming at first but once you get used to it, it’s not so bad.
In the menu, you’ll see your inbox which is your main feed, your snoozed reminders which are things you told the app you’d do later, and Done which shows you everything. Below that is your standard Gmail stuff like Drafts, Sent, and Trash along with the Reminders option to show you all of those. Below that are all of your bundled labels followed by your Unbundled labels, and finally the create new label option along with the settings and help.
Now you may be asking what bundled and unbundled means. When you get an email, it gets sorted into a label. If it shows up in a label that is bundled, then it will show up in your inbox and will show up on your main feed. Email that ends up in an unbundled label will not and you’ll have to check those manually. You can control what is and isn’t bundled and it’s actually a really good way to clear out all of the useless nonsense. You can also set notifications for each individual label which is also useful.
Reminders play a pretty big roll here and they’re integrated almost everywhere. Any reminder you make in Google Now or using Android Wear or even just using Inbox will end up here in Inbox. Here you can deal with them as needed. You can also assign reminders to emails which kind of gives you the ability to make a quick note as to what you wanted to do with that email.
Here’s the thing folks, that’s really it. There are some really cool Material Design elements and most of the rest of the stuff are things we’ve already seen in Gmail and Google Now’s Reminders. It’s a little simpler than people give it credit for. It’s just so different from what we’re normally used to seeing that it is a little disorienting. Really, once you start recognizing the familiar stuff, it helps put the unfamiliar stuff in perspective.
Whether or not you’re going to like this application depends on a number of factors. If your inbox is clean and you’re generally organized then this isn’t so dramatic of a transition. However, if you’re a little sloppy or you don’t really pay attention to or care about your Gmail, then you’re probably going to have a much more difficult time migrating. Based on what I’ve seen, that applies to both the tech savvy and non-tech savvy alike.
There are many more things to talk about but what you’ve seen is basically the entire application. It’s important to note that this is a thing that people started using like 2 days ago at the time of this video so there’s a big chance that Google is going to fix and change some things based on all of our feedback. That means that we may something totally different by the time this rolls out to the public which means it’s far too early to make a final determination on whether or not this app will be good.