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Google reveals Inbox app as a new way to tame your email

Tom Morgan
23 Oct 2014
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Google hopes Inbox will make it easier to get your unread messages under control - but it's invite only for now

Gmail is one of the most widely-used email services in the world, but Google thinks it could do with a few improvements when it comes to taming an inbox filled with thousands of unread messages. That's why the company has officially revealed Inbox, a new email client built to focus exactly on what emails matters to you.

Revealed on the official Google blog last night by , Inbox is primarily designed for mobile users to quickly scan their email for important messages, without being overwhelmed by thousands at a time. It simplifies the inbox in two new ways; bundles and highlights.

Bundles expand on the categories currently found in Gmail, which were designed to make it easier to sort email without needing to create countless folders. With Inbox, similar types of mail are grouped together automatically; bank statements, mobile phone bills and receipts can all be grouped together, so you can swipe them out of the way in one go, rather than doing it one at a time. Eventually, the app can learn which email you'd like to group together, streamlining your inbox without having to unsubscribe from countless newsletters or setting up email rules.

The other new addition is Highlights, which scans your mail for important information and make it clearly visible, without having to open the whole email. Flight itineraries, event details and photos from family members are brought to the main screen, with Inbox taking information from the web not actually included in the original email to keep you up to date. Packages and flights can be shown in real-time, without having to manually do a web search yourself.

Naturally for a new Google app, Inbox is built using the Material Design that will make its debut in Android 5.0 Lollipop, meaning all the menus, icons and interactions are smoothly animated and colours compliment existing apps like Hangouts, Chrome and, of course, Gmail.

Inbox is currently an invite-only beta. Google has already started sending the first round of invitations to Gmail users, with each lucky recipient also able to invite their friends - just like how Gmail started over a decade ago. If you can't wait, you can try emailing inbox@google.com to make sure you're on the list as soon as more invites become available.