MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — 10 years ago, Google took the wraps off Gmail, the popular email client used by many millions the world over. Since email is now vibrating in pockets as regularly as texts or phone calls, the Internet goliath is reevaluating how your inbox ought to look and work.
“We need this to be your inbox for the next 10 years,” Alex Gawley, product director of Gmail and Inbox, said in a meeting. For a product that everyone claims to hate, email is undeniably important.
It was conceived in the 1970s and turned into the spine of our advanced lives in the 1990s. It hasn’t changed much throughout the decades, even as cell phones and social networking have modernized interchanges at home and in the working environment.
“We need this to be your inbox for the next 10 years.”
“Email may not be the cool new thing but it’s the work horse that continues performing,” Forrester Research analyst Shar Vanboskirk said. However, adapting to the day by day deluge of emails has gotten a great deal harder. We are getting more email than at any other time and regularly we are squinting at messages on tiny screens.
So Google set out two years back to make email easier to use whether on the desktop or on cell phones and tablets, Gawley said. “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.”
Google is not alone in this. Numerous email providers and startups are taking a shot at bringing email into the 21st century. Given the amount time we still use our inboxes, “greatly improving the situation for email clients is a need for Google,” said Brian Blau, Gartner’s research director of consumer technology and markets.
Gmail competes for a user’s time and attenttion with mail products from Microsoft, Yahoo and Apple. Inbox is now attempting to lure business clients away from Microsoft Office. “Google needs to make email as convincing as would be prudent,” Blau said.
You log in with your Gmail certifications and you can switch over and over again between the two platforms. Among the fancy odds and ends that Inbox brings to the table: It helps clients stay more composed by gathering together bank statements or receipts from purchases so they can be immediately reviewed then swiped away.
Google’s Inbox wants to lure business clients away from Microsoft Office.
Inbox highlights crucial data from messages in the title, for example, revealing to you photos of a newborn or the document a coworker has shared with you. Inbox likewise shows helpful data that wasn’t in the email: the current status of a flight you booked online or of a package being delivered to your home.
You can add reminders to the subject line of your email, for example, choose a present for your sister’s birthday or get a gallon of milk at the store. To help you complete tasks, Inbox uses “assists.” If you make a restaurant reservation on the web, Inbox adds a guide to the confirmation email. Book a flight on the web, Inbox includes a link to check in with your airline.
You can likewise snooze emails and reminders and set them to come back to your inbox later or when you arrive at a particular location, say the workplace or your home, Gawley said. Inbox will have one other important difference from Gmail: It won’t show any ads — at least not right away.
Google will be giving careful consideration to input, Gawley said. “Possibly one day it is the replacement for Gmail,” Gawley said. “I think that’s something our users will tell us.”
Inbox is accessible beginning Wednesday on Android and ios, and on desktop in Chrome.
Anyway there’s a catch. It’s by invitation only. Google is sending out invites and every new user will have the ability to invite friends. Alternately you can email Google at email@example.com to request an invite.