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When Google launched Gmail, the email service used by hundreds of millions all over the world, no one predicted that by now, emails would vibrate in pockets as often as often as they pinged computers. And as each tech giant has to, Google has decided to keep with the times and rethink the way that the inbox looks and functions.
The result is Google’s new product, “Inbox”, which, according to them, is the smarter way to sort your emails.
“We want this to be your inbox for the next 10 years,”
product director of Gmail and Inbox, Alex Gawley said in an interview.
And for a service that almost everyone loves to hate, the email is still one of the top necessities of the modern man. It hasn’t changed drastically over time and even when mobile devices or social media began changing home communications as well as workplace interactions, the email remained pretty much the same.
“Email may not be the new cool thing but it’s the work horse that keeps performing,”
Shar VanBoskirk, Forrester Research analyst said.
What Google wanted to address, however, is how people are getting more emails than before but have to squint at messages on small screens. Consequently, it set out to make more user-friendly inboxes two years ago, regardless of the device emails are being read on.
“We really want to do more of the work that our users are doing when they are trying to manage their lives through their inbox,”
And Google is not alone- many other email providers have also been working to bring the email into the 21st century.
Brian Blau, Gartner’s research director of consumer technology and markets explains that it’s only logical that Google would make better emailing for users a priority. Especially since it has to compete for user’s time and attention with other providers such as Apple, Yahoo, or microsoft.
“Google wants to make email as compelling as possible,”
What Inbox brings new to the table: first and foremost, it allows users to properly organize their bank statements or receipts so that they can be quickly reviewed. It also highlights relevant information found in email subject lines or it displays useful information that was not included in the email (for instance, the real-time status of a booked flight or the whereabouts of a package being delivered). Inbox also allows users to add reminders to the top of emails and last but not least, Inbox “assists” with tasks: for example, if you make restaurant reservations, it automatically adds a map to the confirmation email. Or if you book a flight online, Inbox provides a check-in link.
“Maybe one day it is the replacement for Gmail. I think that’s something our users will tell us.”