Oct 22, 2014 04:03 PM EDT
On Wednesday of this week, Google announced a new email client app called Inbox, and it was designed by the same Google team that produces Gmail. But this email client is meant to be an inbox unlike any other, in that it brings a host of new fingers and functionality normally associated with apps or features found outside of your average email experience. Think Google Now + Material Design era Gmail.
As Google has noted, email has changed a lot in the three decades since it was invented. Email isn't as formal as it used to be, and in some ways, it's in danger of disappearing in our non-professional lives thanks to the rise of social media and messaging clients in recent years. But we still need email, for the time being, and Google is attempting to show you just how un-boring and productive they feel email should be.
WHAT IS GOOGLE INBOX?
Some of the important features included in Inbox include a more intelligent way to group or bundle your different forms of email. Whether it be online purchases, payments or social media notifications, Inbox can separate them all and give you a quick rundown of what's in each message without you even having to open them.
So, if someone sends you pictures of a trip in an email, you'll see thumbnails of those photos in your inbox--in Inbox's inbox, if you will. Or for online purchases, Inbox can display the latest shipping update about your most recent buys, also without opening said message(s). So, basically, the stuff that you used to have to rely on Google Now to access can also been found in your email client.
And there's also reminders, assists and snoozing. This is a bit like Google Keep also being crammed in to your email app. Assists can help pull up relevant information for your reminders; like a store's phone number if you want to remind yourself to make a trip there or call them. Inbox also lets you 'snooze' your messages by telling the app to cease notifications for set periods of time. It's a do not disturb feature also coming to Google's Android 5.0 Lollypop OS.
Inbox will work with iOS 7 or newer and Android 4.1 or newer. It will also work within Google's Chrome browser. The bad news for those hoping to get their hands on Inbox is that the app is currently available by invite only (email firstname.lastname@example.org to apply for an invite). But not to worry. With all the time and effort invested in a project like this, it shouldn't be long before Google releases it to everyone.
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