Google announced Inbox on October 22nd. In its essence, Inbox tires to make your life easier by organizing your emails better and lumping them into groups of similar items – very similar to what Gmail does currently with primary, social, promotional and updates categories. The difference is that Inbox manages to make look really good – you can thank the new Material Design for that. Inbox has got plenty of Material Design going for it.
As with a lot of new Google services, Inbox is invite only for now – good luck trying to hunt one down. It is available as an app for Android and iOS and as an extension for the Chrome browser, which means there is no real web version at the moment. The first thing you notice about Inbox is how good it looks. It really looks amazing, thanks to Material Design, and animations are nice and crisp. Functionality is changed, “archive” is now “done”. You just swipe one way to be “done” with the email (which will archive it).
Emails are bunched into bundles – think of bundles like the current labels, but better and more flexible. Archiving items will still keep them in the bundle and it is said that Inbox will learn and improve its “bundles” the more you use it. There is also a snooze function – you can swipe the email left to “snooze” the email and have it pop up at a later time if you don’t want to deal with it at this very moment. The quick action button is a nice feature to have – it will give you a “compose email” shortcut to your frequent contacts along with a compose email from scratch option.
There is an element of getting used to the flow of things with Inbox, its not perfect, but its a new and exciting direction that Google is trying. I’m sure it will be refined a lot before it hits the masses. You can try your luck and email firstname.lastname@example.org to see if you can score yourself an invite.