After two years of refinement and reevaluations, Alex Gawley and the Gmail team have created the latest iteration of Gmail, and it’s simply called INBOX. Google released the newly designed app on Wednesday for Android and iOS through an invitation-only basis. This isn’t a simple upgrade to Gmail’s client, it’s a complete overhaul of how the system works.
Users will sign into Inbox with a Gmail account, where you will still see and easily find all of your old emails from your standard Gmail account. Inbox’s new UI starts with the standard subject lines FROM: indications that other clients share, but the UI works more like status updates than a simple list of awaiting emails. Photos sent to your email from friends aren’t buried in emails or attachments, they are available right at the beginning, and you can see them without even diving into the email if you like.
Google Now and Google Notifications are built into the system as well, giving you up to the minute information on travel plans and weather on related emails like flight confirmations and other quick to read data that you might you find useful. Other features include a built in to-do list. This feature allows users to add little reminders or simple tasks that correspond with the email that you are reading. The same high-tech functionality that pulls flight information from the web can also pull information from your contacts or Google Maps data, allowing you to quickly remind yourself to call a person back after reading their email, or set directions to or from an event, with the benefit of auto-complete.
We won’t know all of the bells and whistles until the app is officially released after the invitation period, but it’s exciting to see email getting such a gigantic upgrade from the archaic system that we all still use today.