Gmail has been Gmail for a long time and it is about time that it went through a complete makeover. With third party Gmail apps like Mailbox, Acompli and Boxer made it seem like Google was just becoming a pipe for these smarter Gmail apps. Of course Google wasn’t going to let that happen and this is how Inbox came to be.
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At first glance, Inbox is not very different from Mailbox. In fact, it is very close to Mailbox, with a few added features and material design. Inbox has the same philosophy as Mailbox, that is, emails should be treated like a to-do list. When a bill comes in you can open it and pay or you can snooze it until your next paycheck. Google explains, “Your email inbox should help you live and work better, but instead it often buries the important stuff and creates more stress than it relieves.”
It’s important to note that Gmail isn’t going anywhere, seems like Google will continue to keep the old dog around. Inbox is a new service that is completely optional; you can use both at once and your emails will be synced between them.
To use inbox you need an invitation, not clear why, because the app is very polished in my opinion. You can request an invite by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or have a friend send you one. Anyhow, I will be giving out some invites to those who leave a comment below.
Now that you know what it is, let’s dive right into the app.
The Android App
The Android app has a very clean look in line with Google’s material design philosophy for Android Lollipop. Email groups are in a card-based format in the center and you can slide out the left panel to access your labels. All your labels and filters are kept in one place, which is nice.
No doubt Inbox looks beautiful and the animations are fun but its functions are what keeps it apart from the Gmail App. Inbox bundles similar emails together so you can manage them easily. The default labels include Promotions, Social, Updates, Forums, Purchases, Finance, and Travel. Like Gmail, you have the option to manually move email in or out of a label or even create your own labels.
Features, Features, Features
The most innovative feature of Inbox is the ability to mark emails as “Done” rather than “Read”. All messages have a checkmark symbol and tapping that will send it to the “Done” label thus, removing it from your to-do list.
Another amazing feature is the ability to snooze messages for later time. Sometimes you receive an email and you’re not able to reply right away; when that happens, tapping the clock icon at the top of an open email will let you choose when and where you want inbox to remind you about that email again.
There’s a lot of shortcuts baked in to the apps. For example, sliding an email right will mark it done. If you want to quickly use the snooze function, sliding a message or a group to the left will allow you to do that.
Inbox is filled with features that make it really easy to manage your emails and martial design is just beautiful to look at. I absolutely love using Inbox, I’ve been using it for a little over a week now and I haven’t come across any bugs as of yet.
One amazing thing about Inbox is that it is the same everywhere. On chrome, it’s the same interface, same animations and same features.
I love extensions and I would like to introduce you to an extension that has the potential to make your Inbox experience even better. The extension is called Power Google Inbox by developer Andrew Young.
This extension will:
- Create a “Compact” display density so that you are able to view more messages in a glance
- Permanently dock the left-hand navigation menu
- Make it so the “drawer” icon in the top-left corner will by default open your Inbox
Is Inbox worth Checking out?
In short, yes.
After using Inbox only for about a week I can say that it’s more than just a nice facelift. Google really thought about how we use our emails and tailored Inbox based on the user.
Unless you’re totally afraid to try new things, you should definitely give Inbox a try. There is no commitment and if you don’t like it, you can just remove the app from your phone.
To use inbox you need an invite, luckily for you, I will be giving out some invites. Simply leave a comment below and I will contact you with an Invite!
UPDATE: All Invites are claimed