Technology

Google offers new email app dubbed Inbox

A view of Inbox on a mobile phone Image copyright Google
Image caption Inbox categorises emails into groups as well as allowing users to set their own reminders

Google is revamping its email service with a new mobile app it is simply calling Inbox.

It is an attempt to reorganise overcrowded inboxes and ensure important emails are not overlooked.

Currently the tech giant has invited a select group of Gmail users to try out the new service. Some experts believe it will eventually replace Gmail.

"Our biggest rethink of email since Gmail, really excited about Inbox," wrote one Google executive on Google+.

Among the main changes, Inbox will:

  • highlight key information from important messages, such as flight itineraries, event information and photographs
  • let users add their own reminders - to pick up dry-cleaning or give parents a call, for example
  • categorise messages - clustering together receipts or bank statements for instance

"We get more email now than ever, important information is buried inside messages, and our most important tasks can slip through the cracks - especially when we're working on our phones," wrote Sundar Pichai, senior vice-president of Android, Chrome and apps.

"For many of us, dealing with email has become a daily chore that distracts from what we really need to do - rather than helping us get those things done," he added.

Reaction from the technology press appeared to be mixed.

The Verge described it as the future of email. "It's perfectly happy to have you use your email as a to-do list," it said.

But Mashable pointed out that other apps such as Mailbox and Box do similar things, and Engadget questioned whether it would really signal the end of Gmail.

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