Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."
In 2018, while Apple was busy announcing its new set of iPhones, Google silently killed its popular Gmail client Inbox. Last March, it finally took the plunge and shut down the product forever.
A year later, Google has introduced some nifty features such as scheduling, search filters, and spelling and grammar correction in Gmail. However, it has hardly made any effort to port some of Inbox‘s most beloved features to Gmail.
My favorite feature of Inbox was Bundles, which groups similar emails together, such as emails from one company. This made it easier to swipe the bunch away in a single tap. Last February, a post on Reddit suggested the Gmail team was working on that feature. However, it was nowhere to be seen until now. However, it is nowhere to be seen until now.
Another feature that went well with bundles was sorting of emails; Inbox used to have sections such as Today, Yesterday, and This Week, so it was easier to clear your backlog of emails. There’s a workaround for that in Gmail, but not everyone will make an effort to set this up for every Gmail account they have.
Google Inbox had a fantastic understanding of sorting your emails in different categories as well. As you can see in the image above, it had already categorized my emails in Promos, Updates, Social, Purchases, and Forums sections. It was quite easy to access your recent purchases or travel tickets in Inbox. Gmail, on the other hand, allows five predefined categories. And even if you enable all of them, you’ll often find unnecessary emails in your main inbox or an important email in other tabs.
While Gmail brought snooze function to the main client, pinning and reminders are still missing. There are workarounds for these two in the form of starred emails and adding emails to Google tasks. While these replacements more or less achieve the same effect, it’s not as easy as Inbox’s functions.
In the past year, I’ve tried a couple of email clients for Mac for my daily usage. And while they have some handy features such as read mode or an “unread emails” sections, they don’t come close to Inbox’s crafty and useful features that helped me organize my emails and reach inbox zero in no time.
Even if Google doesn’t want to tinker with Gmail’s familiar interface, but as I’ve suggested before, it can incorporate something like an ‘Inbox mode’ for more experimental features.
Inbox also replaced the need for multiple apps and acted well as your personal planner. It’s high time we get those inbox features in Gmail in one way or another. Just get your folks to work and make Inbox fans happy, Google.
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