What the Heck is Google Inbox

Posted on May 27, 2015 by Darla F

mailboxIt’s confusing, right? Google has Gmail, which most people are at least familiar with, and now, they have Inbox, too, but what is that? Google Inbox is kind of like an add-on for Gmail, but more. Inbox is designed for users that get email in overwhelming quantities. It is a triage system. Did that get your attention? Good, let’s look closer at the benefits of Google Inbox when it comes to collaborative project management.

What is Google Inbox?

First and foremost, it’s kind of a terrible name. It is too general for what this app actually accomplishes. So, Google, if you are reading this, please take note. Google Inbox is an email app for Android and iOS. It also works in some of the mainstream browsers, specifically:

  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Safari

That’s what it is, here’s what it does. It manages your email by filtering the messages to make them controllable. It is all about the bundles. Gmail does this to an extent, too; Inbox just does it better.

It’s a Beautiful Thing

It’s the interface that makes this app really appealing. Inbox is colorful. The design offers information about the messages at a glance, so you don’t have to dig to find out what each one is about.

The interface provides circular labels to the left of the messages with either a picture of the sender or the first letter of the sender’s name. The label set up draws your eye, so you can immediately pick out the message you want to read. Think about incoming calls on your phone. The picture or name allows you to filter your calls and only answer the ones that matter. The Google Inbox design has that same feel to it. If you are working on a project, it means you know right away which emails are critical.

The visual smorgasbord continues when Inbox uses graphics to highlight key points in the email message. Let’s say you get an email confirming your reservation for dinner. If you click the right button, Inbox shows you a picture of the restaurant and gives you the option to see the location on a map.

Features that Make Google Inbox Standout

Google Inbox offers some distinctive features that enhance the user experience, explains BGR.

  • Snooze allows you to hide emails until you want to see them
  • Pin tacks emails that you don’t want to lose track of to the top of your feed.
  • Low priority is the opposite of Pin, those emails fall into purgatory, so you know where to look for them if you ever want to open one.

Okay, now the bad news. Google Inbox is currently invitation only. If you want to try it, you have to ask. I guess this is Google’s version of a beta test. The features that work the best may at some point become available on Gmail for those of us minions who don’t get tons of email. If you get more email than you know how to handle, go ahead and ask to try the program. Who knows, it may change your life.

Darla F is a freelance writer available for projects at WriterAccess.


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