Review: Inbox by Google App

Google has changed Gmail again.

This time, I had to wait a few weeks to get invited to the "Inbox" club—Google's new app for Gmail—which has turned my email on its head. Once I got the invite, I was finally able to log into the app with my Google account.

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I do have to admit that the navigation is a little confusing at first. You have four options after you read an email:

  • Pin it. This keeps a collection of emails on a "pin" page so you can find them quickly.
  • Snooze it. The email will come back into your inbox later, whenever you want it to.
  • Mark as done. This is the most confusing of the four. I think this just archives emails?
  • Move it. You can move it to Inbox's new "bundled" options (kind of like tabs) or to your own label.

The coolest feature? Google has meshed reminders with email. So now, when I am looking at my email (like I do about 10 times per day), I can see that I should be writing that paper or emailing someone back. Another aspect I really like is that I can view Gmail labels more easily than in Apple mail. If you're like me, and use labels religiously, then this is one of the best features of Inbox.

The biggest downside? I think it is a little too simplistic. The labels aren't noted on each email like they are in the Gmail iOS app, and from what I can tell, my email signature has been missing since I switched to Inbox. Luckily, you can still use your regular Gmail inbox on the web, which I will continue to do. 

Overall, if you see your email as a to-do list, this is the experience for you. It's simple, fast, and time-efficient. 

It's easy to get an invite—just email inbox@google.com and your invitation will show up, eventually. This app is available on the App Store and the web.

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Abbey Dufoe's picture

Abbey Dufoe is a freelance writer and a web producer at a nonprofit based in Princeton, NJ. She's always itching for the newest iOS gadget (current favorite - the Apple Watch). She tweets and blogs about the earth and the Internet on Twitter at @abbeydufoe and at abbeydufoe.com.