Will This App Replace Gmail?

Category: Email

The demise of email has been predicted for over a decade, yet the volume of email continues to grow even if you don’t count spam. Ironically, the alternative messaging services that were supposed to kill email have instead fueled its exponential growth. Will Google Inbox solve the problem of email overload, and replace the popular Gmail service? Read on to find out...

What is Google Inbox?

In addition to personal correspondence, email now brings me Tweets, Facebook notifications, Paypal and credit card receipts, bank account transaction notifications, sellers’ shipment notices, USPS “track and confirm” progress reports, press releases, breaking news bulletins, calendar appointment reminders, and lots of "special offers" for products in which I have no interest.

Google Voice even sends me email when I get a phone call, and occasionally hilarious attempts to translate voicemail into text. I even get copies of my text messages in my email inbox.

RSS was supposed to be the email killer, enabling people to "pull" items of interest from a collection of websites, instead of having them "pushed" to their inboxes. But RSS never gained much traction outside of techie circles. Ironically, the most common use for RSS feeds now is publishing email newsletters.
What is Google Inbox?

So email is not going away; it remains the common denominator of online communications. Everyone’s inbox is overflowing and it’s all jumbled together. Email overload is particularly painful on mobile devices whose screens cannot display lots of subject lines very well and whose input methods are not well-suited to searching and managing text manually.

Is There an App for That?

Sure; Google just released it. It’s called Google Inbox and it may eventually replace Gmail as we know it. Because it's still in Beta (almost done but still not officially released), you’ll have to request an invitation to join it, then wait until Google adds you. But early reviews indicate that Inbox will be worth the wait.

Nearly all email apps can sort, filter, and perform if-then operations on messages; Outlook’s “Rules” feature is legendarily sophisticated – or complicated if you prefer. Google Inbox does all of that and more, bringing Google’s vast store of information about the world to bear on your email management problem.

Incoming email is sorted into default “bundles” such as Purchase Receipts, Shipping Notices, Travel Plans, and so on. You can create customized bundles based on your personal needs. So far, that’s nothing new.

But Inbox also displays only the most pertinent parts of emails, or attempts to do so. It extracts from an airline reservation email, for instance, just the date, time, flight number, and other essential data, and displays that cogent synopsis in a “card” that pops up when you highlight the message. You can open the email to read how happy an airline is that you chose it for your travel needs, if you wish.

One feature that I'll find most useful is the ability to add reminders to emails for future action; that’s in other email clients too, but Google Inbox hides such “snoozed” messages until their reminder times, reducing inbox clutter.

Integrating Your Inbox and Your Life

What really sets Inbox apart from all other email clients is Google’s encyclopedic knowledge of everything that has to do with your email. A dinner reservation will include a map, reviews, and the restaurant’s phone number. A travel reservation may include directions to the airport. A reminder to visit a store will includes its business hours. So Google Inbox not only saves you time on managing email; it helps you do things based on email’s content more efficiently, too.

Zoho, the small-business productivity Web service, announced two months ago the imminent release of its Inbox Insight app for Android and iOS devices, promising similar productivity features. Now that Google Inbox has been released, Zoho is hemming and hawing about the exact release date of Inbox Insight. Boomerang is another app that offers some of the same inbox organization and reminder features.

Google Inbox will be available as a Web app for the Chrome browser (other browsers will eventually be supported), and on both Android and Apple mobile devices. If you're looking for a way to manage inbox clutter, Inbox is worth a try.

Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Will This App Replace Gmail?"

Posted by:

27 Oct 2014

Sounds like a recipe for missing some important information on the e-mail.
For example: Inbox picks out the date, flight number and time for me but omits the line at the bottom that says "First 10 customers to check in will recieve a free upgrade to First Class" ..... or whatever!

Posted by:

Louis Toscano
27 Oct 2014

I don't use anything Google. They wanted my cell telephone number when I did not want to disclose it to them while trying to purchase their music files. So, I deleted all my Google accounts. Why should they care about my personal information if I am willing to pay for their product?

Posted by:

27 Oct 2014

I've been using Alto Mail from AOL to organize my inboxes. It pulls in my Yahoo and Gmail, and let's me sort everything into various "stacks." It's been around a couple of years. Works for me. Altomail.com

Posted by:

Jim Rapp
27 Oct 2014

Great! I still can't figure out what Google + is or if I even need it to have a gmail account. Another Google product is just what I don't need. (Although it does sound interesting.)

I'm certain the the help resources for it will be as arcane as they are for every other Google product.

And don't get me started on Microsoft and it's crummy efforts to provide help!

Posted by:

27 Oct 2014

I'm curious, after just following the link in your post and going through the 'tour' for Inbox, what the result will be when it "bundles" all Gmail labels already assigned. I use labels, obviously, to handle putting emails into the categories I want, and it sounds like Inbox will undo that and make me REDO all of it - even though it says of itself that "Inbox runs on Gmail".
I looked on their intro page and didn't see any answer or even a FAQ. Any idea about this?

Posted by:

27 Oct 2014

It is another learning curve to suffer through, but it is now on my list just for the organizational aspect.

Posted by:

27 Oct 2014

I honestly, do not have enough Gmails, to worry about ... Plus, I am NOT a major SmartPhone user. I mainly, use my SmartPhone for calling and getting emergency or important texting. I don't text very well, at all. So, I completely, limited any texting.

For me, using Outlook is just fine. I have all of my groups, already listed, so I can "move" any email, to where I want it to go, either in a Category or the Delete Folder!!! It's works for me, anyway.

I don't get where the "claim" that Email was doomed to die. Heavens, how does anyone who is in business, survive without Emails???!!! Especially, the internal ones, that can be forwarded to your SmartPhone, should you be away from the Office.

Plus, I wouldn't have been able to get any of your newsletters, Bob ... Had Emails died!!! :)

Posted by:

John Silberman
28 Oct 2014

I dumped Yahoo and Gmail years ago for Zoho. The best part is I keep using my Yahoo and Gmail account via Zoho as I phase my e-mail address over to Zoho. Looking forward to the Inbox Insight app for Android.

Posted by:

01 Nov 2014

Can't they come out with anything new and useful w/o opening doors for surrendering personal info and digging deep into your business?

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