Google Inbox Review: A Breath Of Fresh Air

Ben Stegner 28-10-2014

Inbox just might be the email makeover we didn’t know we were waiting for.


Gmail is clearly the champion of free email providers, but not content with simply maintaining the status quo, Google has introduced a new email service: Inbox.

Let’s take a look at Inbox and see what makes it worth upgrading from Gmail.

How Do I Get It?

Currently, Google Inbox is invite-only. If you want to try it, you’ll simply need to send an email to (using your primary Gmail address), and they’ll send you an invite when it’s ready.

Once you get it, you’ll have to install the Inbox app on either Android or iOS (links are provided in the invite; they’re of no use to you without it). Then you’re all good to go! You should also go all-in and try Inbox on the Web, currently only available using Chrome 3 Smart Chrome Extensions to Speed Up Your Workflow Chrome's minimalist and user-friendly interface is a big reason for its popularity, along with the excellent extensions available in the Web store. Here are three that will make browsing easier for you. Read More , for a fully integrated experience.



Currently, this is the only way to get on board. Apparently, users will soon be allowed to invite a few friends, but this wasn’t available at the time of writing.

What’s This All About?

First, it’s important to note that Gmail isn’t going anywhere. Inbox is a new service that’s optional; you can use both at once and your mail will be synced How Easy Is It To Sync Google Mail, Contacts & Calendar To Your iPad? You can use Apple's iCloud for email and contacts on your iPad, but there's a good chance you already use Gmail and Google Calendar. Read More between them.

Google wants to fix a problem is sees with emailing, explaining that “Your email inbox should help you live and work better, but instead it often buries the important stuff and creates more stress than it relieves.” The result is a sort of combination between traditional email and Google Now, the powerful and feature-filled app 6 Google Now Features That Will Change How You Search You may already be using Google Now on your Android device, but are you getting all that you can out of it? Knowing about these small features can make a big difference. Read More that keeps your life in sync.

Enough talk. Let’s dive into the app!


Using Inbox On Android

The Android app has a clean look, in line with Google’s material design philosophy Exploring Android L: What Exactly Is Material Design? You may have heard about Android L and Material Design, but what exactly is this new design philosophy and how will it affect Android and other Google products? Read More for the upcoming Android Lollipop Nexus 6, 9, Player, and Android Lollipop: Everything You Need To Know It's official: Android 5.0 Lollipop is here and is bringing with it three new devices: the Nexus 6, Nexus 9, and Nexus Player. Here's a comprehensive rundown of all the new hardware and software. Read More . Email groups are presented in a card-based format in the center, and you can slide out the left panel to access your labels.


All of your existing mail, labels, and organizational filters 5 Gmail Filters to Help Prioritize & Organize Your Inbox What filters should each and every person have in their arsenal so that their inbox is as orderly as mine? I'm here to help you get started in setting up your first five filters, or... Read More are in place, so you won’t be starting from scratch. Tapping on an email brings it up full screen, just like in Gmail’s regular app.

Below, you can see Inbox on the left and Gmail on the right.



What makes Inbox so useful isn’t its looks, however, but its functions. Much like the update to Gmail that added tabs for any Social and Promotional emails, Inbox bundles similar emails together so you can manage them at a glance. Updates, for example, will include mails from IFTTT updates 10 Great ifttt Recipes To Automate Your Web Life We’ve already introduced you to ifttt in a previous post and there have been several improvements made and new channels added to the web application since then. Automation and synchronization are two points that have... Read More , links from those you support on Patreon Support Your Favorite Online Artists And Get Exclusive Rewards On Patreon Patreon is a new initiative from musician and video-maker Jack Conte, that tries to solve the age-old problem both artist and fans face every day. For artists, it's the need to stay afloat while still... Read More , or other emails that contain words like “new” or “recently.” Like Gmail’s other functions, you can manually move emails in or out of a label to help improve automatic sorting.

Other default labels include Purchases, which conveniently bundles all digital receipts; Social, which rounds up all of those annoying social media emails you don’t care about; and Forums, alerting you to new replies on something you’ve posted. While these are the stock labels, they’re quite useful and will likely encompass a good chunk of your current mail.



If you’d like to make a group for yourself, you can slide to the bottom of the side panel and name yourself a new one. There is a wizard that allows you to choose what emails get included in it, and you can choose by people, subject, or words included. Once you set it up, the group can be forced to skip the inbox to keep them out of your hair, or if you wish, Inbox will only show you the bundle once a day or week.

A label that doesn’t contain immediately important messages is a great candidate for this latter option, as it will cut down on noise. Should a label be deleted at a later time, it doesn’t delete any of the messages inside, so you can reorganize to your heart’s content.


Features For Days

Perhaps the most innovative feature of Inbox is the ability to mark an email as “Done” instead of just “Read.” All messages have a checkmark symbol, and tapping that will send it to the “Done” label, removing it from your to-do list.

It’s similar to archiving mail, but this is more intuitive. If there’s a bundle of emails you don’t really need to read, like Social, you can click the check-slide icon to mark them all as done. Be sure there’s nothing important in there before you do this, however. Also note that marking something as done in Inbox will archive it in your actual Gmail.


Another productivity tool is the ability to snooze messages for a later time. Sometimes you receive an email, but you’re just about to leave the house or you don’t know how to reply. When that happens, tapping the clock icon at the top of an open email will let you choose a time, place, or combination of both when Inbox will remind you of the mail. Until then, it goes away to keep your inbox uncluttered.

You can push it back by a day, a week, or pick specific time. “Someday” is even included, which alerts you to it at a random future time. Location-based alerts 6 Personal Alerts You Should Set Up Today We receive a swarm of notifications which, to be honest, are often useless. There are some useful notifications however, that are easy to set up and help us keep tabs on what actually matters. Read More are awesome for reminding you of tasks to complete when you get to work, or when you’re home with a clear mind. We’ve discussed how to snooze with Boomerang for Gmail Schedule Emails to Send Later with Boomerang for Gmail in Chrome Gmail is in ingenious tool for managing emails. Much of what it is lacking per default, is covered by Gmail Labs apps or browser add-ons. Boomerang is a browser add-on available for Chrome that let's... Read More , but having it built-in with a location option is sweet.

A lot of awesome shortcuts The Most Useful Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts Everyone Should Know The easiest way to boost your Gmail productivity is to start using keyboard shortcuts for common tasks. Read More are baked in, too. Sliding any email right will mark it as done, and if a bundle contains many items that have previews (such as shipped Amazon items Shipping Smartly: 5 Frugal Tips to Save Money When Shopping Online You're shopping around online, you find the perfect item just within your budget, but the shipping is just way too much? Here's how to cut those fees down to size. Read More or YouTube video thumbnails YouTube Thumbnail Generator: Generate Thumbnail From Youtube Video Read More ), you can slide between them without even opening the group. If you want to quickly use the snooze function, slide a message or group to the left and you’ll be able to pick a timeframe.


With all this sliding away and marking as “Done,” you might be scared about accidentally banishing an important message to the great unknown. While Gmail’s advanced search operators 5 Advanced Gmail Search Operators You Should Know Gmail is an ingenious webmail client with many awesome features. Being a Google service, one of its strengths obviously is Search. And this is exactly how Google revolutionized email. In Gmail you don't really have... Read More can help you find almost anything, there’s a simpler way to avoid losing your important stuff with Inbox.

Simply push the Pin icon to save an email to that group, and when you mark a bundle as done, pinned items remain. You can also use the switch at the top of your inbox to quickly show only pinned items, so using it for your most pressing tasks is a great idea.


You can also add Reminders right into your Inbox. This is another functionality we’ve shown you how to introduce with an add-on Add Scheduling, Tracking & Reminders to Gmail With This Fantastic Add-on Let’s face it, Gmail is pretty much perfect. It’s not a coincidence that it’s now one of the most popular email providers, at least for those who prefer a Web interface. There are, however, several... Read More , but Inbox adds them into your email to be your one-stop checklist for work.

When you pin an email, a space to add a reminder pops up — a great place to jot a note so you don’t forget what you meant to do later. Reminders are also powered-up with suggestions, so instead of just “Call Business X,” their number and hours will be dynamically placed into the reminder.


Consistent with Material Design 7 New Android O Features You Can Get Right Now The Android O Developer Preview is out for select devices! But you can get the best features on your phone or tablet without upgrading. Read More is the floating bubble in the bottom-right corner, used for composing new mail or to reply if in a thread. It also adds your most recently contacted friends and a reminder-scheduling option right from the Compose window.


Got iOS Or Prefer The Web?

Although this overview is focused on the Android version of Google Inbox, we’ll briefly examine the iOS and Web versions of the service.

The iOS version is identical in virtually every way to the Android version, so if you’re rocking an Apple device, the above all applies to you.


On the Web, there’s obviously more screen space to take advantage of, but everything is still set up in a similar fashion. You’re still able to snooze, mark emails as done, and view labels, albeit without the convenient touch shortcuts.

If you’ve mastered the mobile app, you already know 99% of what’s going on in the Web version. The continuity is a great feature, and Google recommends totally diving in to get used to Inbox.


For comparison, check out a screenshot of the regular Gmail inbox (left) and Inbox on Android (right).


Is Inbox Worth Checking Out?


After using Inbox for a short time, I’d wager it’s much more than just a nice facelift. Google has really thought about how we use email and adjusted the process based on the user. Email is a common factor in nearly everyone’s lives, and the fact that it’s worked in relatively the same way for decades means it was probably time for an upgrade.

Unless you’re totally against trying new things, you should definitely give Inbox a try. There’s no commitment; if you don’t like it, you can just remove the app from your phone and keep using regular Gmail online. It will take a bit of getting used to, but once you’ve optimized your groups to prioritize the important stuff and cut out the fluff, you’ll feel much more in control of your email and might even be able to reach the fabled Inbox Zero Buried In Emails? Shrink Your Massive Inbox To Zero With Mailstrom We've offered a number of solutions through the years to manage your Gmail account and to clean up a cluttered inbox. Nothing is more convenient than a central online solution like Mailstrom. Read More .

Not ready for Google Inbox yet? We’ve covered some other mail clients for Android Email Apps For Android: 3 Excellent Options To Try In 2014 There's always someone on the Web who's claiming that email is dead, but your busy inbox tells you otherwise. Read More .

What Do You Think Of Google Inbox?

What feature of Google Inbox is the best? How could it be improved? Are you going to request an invite to Google Inbox, or is this not up your alley?

Let us know in the comments, and best of luck getting an invite!

Related topics: Email Tips, Gmail, Google.

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  1. Lavon
    June 19, 2018 at 3:53 am

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  2. gouri
    March 3, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    How do I save the addresses of people who email?

    • Ben Stegner
      March 4, 2016 at 12:20 am

      Go to and add people manually, or use the Contacts view in Gmail to edit them if you prefer it there. I don't think you can do much with contacts inside Inbox.

  3. Mepa
    May 6, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    Thank you for your reply.

    • Ben S
      May 6, 2015 at 5:36 pm

      You're welcome. Please let me know if you need more help!

  4. Mepa
    May 6, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    I may be missing it... how do I uninstall the new in box. I find it overall annoying, besides, the window in the lower right corner that always comes up saying "take me to inbox" when I am already in g-mail and I have to close.

    • Ben S
      May 6, 2015 at 4:47 pm

      On your computer, simply stop using Inbox; on your phone or tablet you can uninstall the app.

      To get rid of that little message in Gmail, click the X on that "Take Me To Inbox" box, and it should prompt you to Undo or "Stop telling me this." That will stop the notification.

      I did this myself and haven't seen the message since.

  5. Anjan Chaudhuri
    April 24, 2015 at 10:35 am

    I seem to have trouble replying from Inbox running on Chrome on Windows 7. The Android version works just fine. Is anyone else having the same issue?

    • Ben S
      April 27, 2015 at 5:35 pm

      Anjan, I haven't been using Inbox for a while, but I never had any problems using it when I was. Are you having trouble just replying or sending a message anytime?

      It may be worth asking over at MakeUseOf Answers.

    • Anjan Chaudhuri
      April 27, 2015 at 8:24 pm

      Thanks for looking into this. The problem disappeared after I killed the chrome processes from the task manager and restarted chrome. Thanks again. I appreciate it very much.

  6. Jen
    April 2, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    I like it. I would *LOVE* it IF I could add custom images to my bundles I create. I use them far more often than the premade ones. I wish I could change the icon or colors on them.

  7. Karen
    April 2, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    My Gmail and Google Inbox won't sync. I'd love for the emails I delete in Inbox to also delete in Gmail - is that not a possibility, or do I just not know the trick? Other than that, I love Inbox - it's relieved quite a bit of stress revolving around the number of unread emails I have.

  8. Lew
    March 22, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    I am incensed that Google changed my email to force all emails to Gmail without my approval. This has caused major disruption to my activities. I have/had extensive organization of my emails so I could easily process and/or locate them. This change has created chaos for me. I have been a supporter of Google up to this point, but I will be changing to another operating system.

    • Ben S
      March 22, 2015 at 8:52 pm

      What do you mean? Did you try Inbox and have your filters affected?

      What do you mean by changing operating systems? Do you use a Chromebook?

  9. Carlos
    December 23, 2014 at 9:46 am

    I can't use groups nor signatures as in gmail

  10. Hala
    December 13, 2014 at 12:38 am

    When I mark something as done they go to the Done bundle and when I go to the Done tab I find the Read and Sent emails all mixed together. Then there is the Sent tab. I'm so lost..

    December 12, 2014 at 9:23 am

    If u want to add a new contact address to the contact list. How can u do it with Inbox.

  12. Jesse
    December 4, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Have they finally made this available for folks that use their hosted business apps?

  13. Ken Southerland
    December 3, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Losing the contacts is very annoying and, frankly, troubling. The Android OS has increasingly buried your contacts with every release. I'm just not sure I can continue to count on Google to hold/manage my contacts anymore. Which would make the rest of their suite of software useless in my opinion. They really need to be bring those back into the foreground. For now, I did go to ...

    ... and I was asked if I wanted to "save a link" to it which added an icon for it in the Apps menu.

  14. Leroy Brock
    November 28, 2014 at 1:56 am

    I've had it for a while and uninstalled it today. There must be a minority of email users that Inbox would be good for, but I consider it a blatant waste of time. If they end up ruining the fantastic Gmail app with this bullshit I'm not sure what I'll do.

    • Charles
      November 28, 2014 at 8:17 pm

      Agree Leroy, just deleted it myself. The 2 biggest missing "features" for me are the lack of ability to make an email as "unread" and the ability to delete an email (without digging into a menu that is...

  15. stefan
    November 23, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    I really don't like the bundles bit at all. Much, much prefer the categories in gmail.

  16. Jacqui
    November 22, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    I like the grouping feature a lot. I am confused about how answers to questions I have asked an addressee are appearing highlighted in yellow next my original questions in my original email. Is he using something to make that happen or am I missing something about Google Inbox features. I can also expand to get the entire thread but this is really mystifying me.

  17. Nick
    November 22, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    This is one of the greatest things on chrome! I love how the messages sort and nest into convenient groups for easy inbox clearing!

  18. stefan
    November 20, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    beginning to warm a little to inbox - more so on desktop than LG G2 though.

    Like some of the other email managers that Inbox prompted me to look at though :

    bluemail and cloudmagic in particular

  19. Boomer
    November 19, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Has anyone noticed that signatures are missing. I currently toggle between varioud email accounts when sending and they all have their own signature and graphic depending on the account. In inbox this is missing completely.
    Also you can only attach from files on your computer and not from Google Drive.
    Am I missing something? Perhaps we can see this as it develops further.

  20. Matthew Daniel
    November 19, 2014 at 2:43 am

    I just got inbox yesterday and it is sweet so far. I wondered about the normal inbox though, should I mark all my old emails as done (they are read) so new ones that are important should stand out? Or just leave done as an archive box. I am just hesitant to mark all as done because I use Gmail online and I wonder how that will affect it. What is everyone's opinion of doing that?

  21. CastleIslandPhoto
    November 18, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    My big question is if there is going to be an iPad/tablet version? I think the phone version is slick but I do most of my email on my tablet.

    • Jacqui
      November 22, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      Go back to the invite email on your regular gmail on your tablet....then click download again. There are buttons for ipad and android. I have it on ipad and iphone.

    • CastleIslandPhoto
      November 23, 2014 at 6:49 pm

      There's a button for iOS, but the iOS version is still iPhone native. There is no universal or iPad version yet.

    • Jacqui
      November 24, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      Well I have it on my ipad.

  22. stefan
    November 16, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    Don't like it one bit. It looks truly awful, improves nothing whatsoever, makes it all so much more complex and each message takes up waaaay too much real estate.

    I agree 100% with everything likefunbutnot said.

    I find it 200% easier to use the traditional email.

    Google has done good stuff but now seems hell bent on making them all worse, they've already seriously ruined maps, so much so that I now use an alternative as 1st choice, and now seem to want to do the same with thwir other products. Shame

    • Blue Bullet
      November 18, 2014 at 6:39 pm

      And I agree with you, stefan. Google seems to be all about hype these days and poor
      integration of things that are better left as is. I could not see any improvement over managing Gmails and Contacts. Oversights like excluding Contacts point to the fact Google just "throws things against the wall" to test things rather than thinking them out.
      Don't get me wrong; I am a Google fan. I just no longer expect them to make great strides as they have in the past. Same things have happened at M$ and Apple over the years. Google should be no different.

  23. Sandro R
    November 15, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    It's really nice on my phone, not so much on the iPad, since it's native.

    However, it's not working for me on my 30" screen. It's not scaling at all. Why bother hiding the bundles and folders, if there's no much real screen state? With 2560x1600, it could display the "month" bundle entirely on the side of the screen, top to bottom, and leave the other bundles in the middle, while the folder/bundles list on the left, permanently. YOu can open it up, the list of folders, but it won't stick. You close the window, open again, it's hidden, with half of the screen space left over.

    I almost bought a huge 4k screen last year very cheap. This is 2014 and scalabiliy should be done right by now, but apparently it's not. Only gripe.

  24. Zanza
    November 13, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Globally a really nice app, the only major drawback is the inability to empty the trashcan in 2 clics

  25. Lucy
    November 12, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Just started using it yesterday, and really love its intuitiveness! The only feature I wish was easy to do with a swipe is delete! And maybe it's there but I haven't found it yet. So far, I would say this is a big step toward helping master the inbox.

  26. Adam
    November 12, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Agree - bring back the delete button!

    Main reason for me is that I don't want a lot of extra crap that I would have otherwise deleted clogging up my inbox search results.

    I love deleting!

  27. LarryMcJ
    November 11, 2014 at 2:56 am

    I think the answer to whether Google's new Inbox will make email better is both yes and no. I have a Google Apps for business account and of course a personal Gmail account (which I never use). But I think the answer is "yes" for individuals who want to simplify their email and don't care about the complexity of a labeling/sub-labeling system, as the new Google Inbox does NOT have. Sure, you can add all the labels you want to Google Inbox, but you can not add sub labels, or see applied labels to messages that have multiple labels applied.

    I only use my Google Apps account for the family mail (just me and my wife), but it's important that we are able to use our private domain, shared calendars (more easily than with personal Gmail) and have real support if ever needed. For that I'm willing to pay $50/user/year (less when pre-paid). Also, I'm a big user of multiple labels, so the answer for me, regarding the use of Google Inbox with my Google Apps account, is a resounding "no". And I'm quite sure the same answer would be given by all the enterprise users of Google fact, I don't see how Google Inbox could ever be adapted in any business email environment, be it small business or huge business.

    Google Inbox is not available for Google Apps, and I doubt it ever will be, at least in its current beta format. Also, even if you like the premise of Google Inbox, the UI wastes a ton of space, forcing way too many scrolls. Perhaps they'll tighten up all this wasted space in the final product, but don't look for that in the near future. If you recall, the original Gmail was in "beta" for five years!

  28. G Wiz
    November 10, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    This app has the same problem as Gmail, is only compatible with a google account. Most people have multiple email accounts like Hotmail and so forth. if I can't get it all in one place what's the point of all these great new features. Great features in one app and then you go to another app to read your other email account ridiculous

    • Mathias
      November 10, 2014 at 9:52 pm

      Interestingly, the latest Gmail update on Android allows to setup any other IMAP/POP3 account as well. But this is only for Gmail on Android (got the update a few days ago after Inbox came out). It's not the case for Gmail on iPhone, nor for Inbox on Android.

    • Mathias
      November 10, 2014 at 9:59 pm

      Two major things are missing / not taken over from Gmail:

      1) When you reply to an email, you cannot format the text, i.e. adding bullets, making the text bold, italic, etc. There is only an attach icon available. The only way to get the formatting functionality is to click on "reply", then click somewhere else so that your reply gets saved as a draft. Then again click on your draft, which opens it in the composer window that we know from Gmail (this popup thing on the lower right). That's a bit annoying still in Inbox

      2) Also, they removed the search box when moving a mail / assigning a label. If you have a lot of labels, you need to scroll down the entire list of labels to find the right one. I used the label search quite often.

      3) I agree about the "delete/move to bin" button - it should be made available right away in the same way as the archive button. Many mails I don't want to archive because they are junk. And even though Gmail provides quite a lot of space for free, it isn't endless.

  29. Phil
    November 10, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Overall, Inbox is really only an advance from Gmail if you use a touch screen often (if you're using a mouse, it just means more clicks to get where you want to go). Otherwise, most of the options I liked most about Gmail are gone:
    1) Labels have been replaced with folders (that are still called 'labels', but I can't add multiple labels to one email any more, I have to move the email into a single 'label', essentially making it a folder).
    2) I can't 'star' emails with different colors anymore (there's just 'pinned' and 'unpinned').
    3) There's no more 'mark as unread', just 'done' or still in the inbox.
    4) I haven't managed to find the contacts. It's either hidden or hasn't been fully integrated yet.
    The one nice addition is scheduling. I'm assuming that Google will have the sense to bring back some of the nicer features of Gmail as the rollout advances, but I'm not getting my hopes up just yet.

  30. Antonio Petricca
    November 10, 2014 at 7:11 am

    Yes, I'm referring to my existing labels.

    Thank you!

  31. Antonio Petricca
    November 6, 2014 at 6:50 am

    Hi, I've just received the invite and I explored the application. I saw that only some of my labels can grouped by! Why?

    • Ben S
      November 9, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      Grouped by what? Are you referring to your existing labels from Gmail?

  32. Inidaho
    November 5, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Don't know if this has been said in comments, but to send to trash just do "SHIFT+#" for a full list of keyboard controls you need to enable them in settings. Then access a list of them using "SHIFT+?"

    • cmadler
      November 6, 2014 at 2:36 pm

      That doesn't really work on a phone, though.

    • Ben S
      November 9, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      This is an awesome tip and it seems like a lot of people here will use it. Thank you!

  33. Sunjay
    November 4, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    I am now trying out Google inbox and it is brilliant.

  34. robert
    November 4, 2014 at 10:07 am

    I have an Inbox app (Iphone) and I stil have 2 unread (new) messages on my icon. I am not able to find any new message in my inbox. Do you know the solution?

    • Ben S
      November 9, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      Perhaps it's a message buried deep in a label. Try searching for Unread messages in the search box to find it.

  35. Mike P.
    November 2, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    Believe it or not I'm going to buy an inexpensive Android phone to test Inbox. I currently use a Lumia 1520 Windows phone as my flagship phone. I'd like to believe that Google will eventually start providing Inbox for Windows Phone.

    Here's hoping...

  36. Coen
    November 2, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Google, please take a look at ActiveInbox (for Gmail). Those guys have taken the idea of treating email-messages as tasks a whole lot further. The perfect GTD extension for Gmail.

  37. Scott B
    October 31, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    My take is If you hate conversation list style, you'll hate Inbox. If you use Gmail in a browser, and like it then you'll probably like Inbox. And none of the front-ends (outlook, emclient, etc) support Inbox yet. The reminders thing is cool though.

    One thing to note, if you use Inbox and mark anything 'Done', and decide to go back to gmail (or your favorite front-end), those items won't show up in gmail. You'll have to move them back out of 'Done' in Inbox to your inbox folder for them to show up in gmail. The problem with this, is after the move items you sent will now show up in your inbox folder in gmail. Annoying.

    And before anybody asks if I can send an invite. I've already sent my invites to friends. sorry.

  38. VT
    October 31, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    I have been using Inbox from couple of days. So far I have found nothing revolutionary as compared with Gmail. On the contrary there seems to be few useful functions in Gmail that are not in Inbox -
    1) Create event - In Gmail I can add a mail directly to calendar. In Inbox I can only add a reminder that can lead to scheduling conflict
    2) Add to contacts - In Gmail I can add sender to contact which is not possible in Inbox
    3) Lab products - Various Lab products can been added in Gmail, which does not seem possible in Inbox

    • cmadler
      November 6, 2014 at 2:35 pm

      #1 was the first thing I noticed too. That's definitely something they need to add to Inbox.

  39. Joe Fusco
    October 31, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    The first hour I used it, I kept scratching my head.

    Now, I can't imagine even going back to the Gmail app. This really works. I love it.

    • Ben S
      November 9, 2014 at 4:20 pm

      It's amazing how something can be created that works so well, isn't it? It's the type of thing that you didn't know you needed until you had it.

  40. Babak
    October 31, 2014 at 10:08 am

    pls invite me...

    • Ben S
      October 31, 2014 at 9:00 pm

      I told others, and I have to tell you, that I can't invite. Please send Google an email to request an invite.

  41. Anil
    October 31, 2014 at 8:58 am

    I too prefer having the option to delete emails instead of archiving it.Google should provide settings for user to configure this.
    Any idea when the Google Inbox will available to all users? Has Google given a timeline for it?

    • Ben S
      October 31, 2014 at 9:01 pm

      I haven't heard anything on a timeline. It will hopefully be soon; I doubt more than a month or so.

  42. Anil Mishra
    October 31, 2014 at 3:03 am

    have been using it for a few days now, find it intuitive and good for ensuring you get things done, well for the emails that require your action.

    I have to see the long terms user experience as i'm still trying to navigate through the new structure based on my old 'gmail'.

    Cons - just small niggling things, the delete email option should only be one click, a possible solution is to have this visible at the top in the 'inbox' view.

    so yeah lets see how this will be resolved.

  43. Marinab
    October 30, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    My comment seems to have disappeared. Is there any way to use multiple labels for one message with Inbox? Seems like the only option is to put it in one folder or another (whether or not bundled with the inbox itself) but the multiple label thing (which is the huge advantage of gmail in my opinion) is not enabled. Am I missing something?

    • Ben S
      October 31, 2014 at 9:04 pm

      I didn't think about this implication, but I see no way to add more than one label to something unless it's an old existing one from regular Gmail. Perhaps you could email them about this as a feature request.

    • MFZ
      November 12, 2014 at 3:17 pm

      You can move an item in Inbox into multiple labels. I was able to do this by moving an email to label X, reopening the email and moving the item to lablel Y. I went back to Gmail and checked and the email had both labels X and Y attached to it. Its possible, just not as obvious as in Gmail. To delete a label you have to open it within that label and select the option to remove it from that bundle/label using the ellipses menu

  44. Marinab
    October 30, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    I like the look and feel, but have two major complaints. 1 - it should be easier to delete emails. Most emails are junk and I don't want to archive them. This should be a swipe function. 2 - there doesn't seem to be a way to file an email away in multiple labels like in regular Gmail. This is one of the huge advantages of gmail - the ability to file something in multiple places. Now it seems the only option is to put it in one folder or another (granted, you can keep it bundled with the inbox, but you can't select two or more labels). Seems like a step backwards?

    • cmadler
      November 6, 2014 at 2:33 pm

      That's a great point. Using tags instead of folders was one of the big innovations in Gmail, and if it's really gone in Inbox, that would be a big loss.

    • mcarson75
      November 13, 2014 at 6:15 am

      On a related note I notice I can't tell in the Inbox which labels have been applied to an email. I have set up filters in GMail, and I don't like to just archive an email away without giving it the correct labels, so I always want to see where it will go before I archive it. I can't tell this in Inbox.

    • Niels
      November 19, 2014 at 5:09 pm

      Yes! I miss multiple labeling too! This kicks us back to the 'folder'-time of the previous century it seems...

  45. Sandy
    October 30, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    The app sounds interesting, i think i might give it a try (although the 'invite' is pretty annoying)
    anyway, now i'm using this free good app called Mailwise. it's a great email app that support multiple email accounts like hotmail and outlook and it works great with Exchange.

    this is the link if you'd like to try:
    [Broken Link Removed]

  46. Jeana
    October 30, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    "If you want to try it, you’ll simply need to send an email to (using your primary Gmail address), and they’ll send you an invite when it’s ready."

    • Ben S
      October 31, 2014 at 9:02 pm

      Thanks for reading instructions!

  47. Ankush
    October 30, 2014 at 9:08 am

    It does look awesome from the videos. I have been using mailbox for quite some time and love it. Now left to see what this brings to the table :)
    Any kind soul can spare an invite ? ankush dot badola at gmail

    • Ben S
      October 31, 2014 at 9:02 pm

      I cannot invite you. Please request an invite through the method I outlined.

  48. JM
    October 30, 2014 at 7:19 am

    can u please invite me plzzz???

    • Ben S
      October 30, 2014 at 3:22 pm

      As stated, I can't invite anyone. You'll have to sign up using the method in the article.

  49. Diego
    October 29, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    It took me a half-day of feeling a bit discombobulated, but once you get in the groove and know how to use Inbox, it is awesome. I am sold.

    • Ben S
      October 31, 2014 at 9:05 pm

      Awesome! I'm glad you like it; it is a slick product.

  50. Dave C
    October 29, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    I like the app overall... But it's a huge frustration to me that any email marked as 'Done' is just archived and not sent to the trash. Then I'm just going to have to deal with everything a second time to clear out the Archives. It should at least be an option in settings to send any 'Done' emails to the trash. It's causing me anxiety.

  51. Jake Shakespeare
    October 29, 2014 at 9:13 am

    I love the reminder function; I pinned a reminder to call my doctor, and his phone number appeared automatically. Also, I've checked out some of the default 'bundles,' and all my receipts, shopping history, and similar categories were accurately curated. I'd like a quick 'delete' button, but it's just 2 clicks or taps away. And on my 27" monitor, Inbox really shows how beautiful Material design is going to be.

    • Ben S
      November 9, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      I'm a huge fan of Material Design too. I think it's going to make Android its best ever, and I'm excited that Google is applying it on the Web too.

  52. Soykan S.
    October 29, 2014 at 6:30 am

    Please invite to me google inbox.


    • Ben S
      October 31, 2014 at 9:00 pm

      As I stated to others, I can't invite. Please request an invite through the method I explained.

  53. Akhil Sethi
    October 29, 2014 at 4:56 am

    Useful article!

    As far as my opinion is concerned, ?Inbox (which can be accessed from both mobile and desktop) looks simple, neat and with no-ads at all. With last year's gmail updates on categorization of emails to primary, social and promotions, it just takes the same to few steps further of bundling your emails to various categories by adding some cool features. For more details, visit

  54. Clayton
    October 29, 2014 at 4:45 am

    I'm curious why Google is using an invite system. What are the advantages of using this type of system? Invited users can invite more users, so Google can't really control who gets to try it out. I'd love to see some insights into this. Thanks!

    • Bill
      October 29, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      It's to build demand and interest and get people signed up who really want to use it.

    • Ben S
      October 31, 2014 at 8:59 pm

      Bill is right. They want to build hype and when someone gets in, they feel special. Allowing them to invite only a few people spreads the hype and gets people excited for the real thing. They'd rather do this then force a change on everyone like Facebook does.

    • Jon
      November 1, 2014 at 9:04 am

      I think it's more than just building hype. I think it's about server load, and keeping the user experience up, as well as stress-testing the interface, taking feedback and improving it as they go. I got invites yesterday on my Android app, and I got only 3. It's not unlimited. And if you think about it, by doing it this way, they take advantage of the natural tendency of certain types of people to want to experiment with new things means vs. other types that don't. They are getting the best beta testers. :-) So beta-test the heart out of it.

  55. JacktheDog
    October 29, 2014 at 4:21 am


    You say you "particularly like the low density of information presented via the Inbox interface", but then call it a "big step backward". Why the mixed messages? Also for what it's worth, you sound like a Google hater as this is clearly a nice additional option on top of Gmail. What are some of the things this app "does poorly"?

    • Ben S
      October 31, 2014 at 8:58 pm

      I wish he'd mentioned some specifics too. I'm fine with people disliking it, but I think it's more constructive to know why.

  56. Billy Bob
    October 29, 2014 at 2:34 am

    Well actually it does everything well not poorly and if you have tools that do all of that for you why is it so bad that inbox does it all for you in an easy way. Google doesn't handle it for you if you don't want you can make your own bundles so you are choosing what information goes where Google just presents it in a orderly fashion.

  57. Dave B
    October 29, 2014 at 2:11 am

    "a monolithic tool that does lots of things poorly rather than one thing well."

    I've found the opposite.... it does everything very well so far. It's gotten all of my labels right. It's allowed me to keep up with whats important and to quickly rid what isn't important. I've tried to keep up with "promos" in gmail but they've always ended up stacked and backlogged. Now I will actually be able to keep up with them and see the one's that are truly important to me.

    But that's just my opinion. :)

    • Ben S
      October 31, 2014 at 8:57 pm

      I'm glad you like it! I need to rework my filters too. I have an old "newsletters" one that's full of junk I need to fix.

  58. NotoriousZeus
    October 29, 2014 at 12:05 am

    Google in the business of getting up everyone's business, if they cant they buy them. They bought Sparrow a long time ago and now borrowed(stole) bunch of ideas from Mailbox and merged into an app that should've-could've been.
    Now to wait and see how long before they shut it down and try merging it back to Google Now/Later or whatever its going to be called.
    Refreshing facelift , not worth my time. I'll stick to G-mail app and wait until these features make their way into it.

  59. mark johnstone
    October 28, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    Too bad the new gmail doesn't let you see and manage your contacts like the original gmail does...

    • Ben S
      October 31, 2014 at 8:57 pm

      I didn't even think about this until you said something. I guess they're really trying to strip it down. Maybe they'll release a new contacts manager?

      I know the focus was on the app, so maybe the Web version is a work in progress.

    • BK
      November 5, 2014 at 5:10 pm

      Yeah, not being able to access/edit contacts is challenging.

      Also, unless I am missing something, you can't type in a Group name to populate all the email addresses like Gmail. Email addys need to be added individually which quickly becomes a pain. Especially if you regularly communicate with a large group like a family, business contacts, band etc.

    • Ryan Y
      November 5, 2014 at 7:39 pm

      This is a big issue for me. I just got my invite but I keep a lot of information in my contacts. Obviously, for more then just clicking on a phone number or email address. I would say I go into them five or more times a day.

      Now it doesn't matter in the app because I would use the device's built-in contact manager. It is the web interface where it becomes a problem. The alternative I suppose is I would just rather not have to open another tab.


    • Stang
      November 7, 2014 at 8:03 pm

      On the web version, they need to add a Contact Icon to the drop down where you find Calendar, Drive, etc. Current version forces me to keep the gMail version open at the same time to access Contact info. Then, What's the Point for most processes?

    • GK
      November 14, 2014 at 1:32 am

      Interestingly when it first launched, searching by someone's name brought up contact listings above emails. That seems to since have vanished, I don't know why. It really is a pain to find contacts now. In addition, the group messaging thing is just annoying. I don't know why they can't implement it across their mail platforms/apps.

    • jox
      December 5, 2014 at 8:02 pm

      It would also be nice to have the ability to send an email to a list. Can't do that in either Inbox or the GMail app. That is probably one of the biggest reasons I don't use it.

  60. Jon
    October 28, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    I've set all my other main email addresses to forward to inbox, but honestly, I'm of two minds about it. It is harder to delete email in Inbox, which I would think one would want to do with things like promos, social alerts, etc. but it is no longer a swipe away (like with other email apps). This one point is a big pain to me--at least in the app. On the web, one can type the # key and delete, but there is no shortcut in the app... I'm going to keep trying it for a week--but we'll see if I last that long. I still have a few addresses that get less mail and are still in I'm not sure how to integrate those, or if I just let them build up for a few days and deal with them all at once or what... decisions...

    • Ben S
      October 31, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      It's good that you're thinking through it. I certainly don't advocate switching fully to a new system the second it's available; if you don't like it there's no use hurting yourself by using it. Thanks for your honest feedback! You weren't the only one to mention the delete button. I'd send Google an email about this.

    • cmadler
      November 6, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      I agree.

      I mentioned this above, but what I think would be great would be the ability to set some bundles/tags to default to "Done"/archive and others (daily deals, social alerts, etc.) to default to delete.

  61. Rishi
    October 28, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    A Deeply request for Google Inbox, waiting for own hands on

    • Ben S
      October 31, 2014 at 8:54 pm

      As stated in the article, I can't invite you. Please request one using the steps I gave.

  62. Victor
    October 28, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    This looks quite similar to the mailbox app, but slightly different!

    • Ben S
      October 31, 2014 at 8:54 pm

      I haven't used Mailbox a whole lot, but I'll bet Google took a few ideas from it!

  63. Martin
    October 28, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    It lacks a delete button to send emails directly to bin and the possibility to access delegated accounts.

    • Digitalus
      October 30, 2014 at 12:24 am

      Gmail doesn't really believe in deleting content. It's one of the main reasons they give such large storage quotas.

    • Andrew
      October 30, 2014 at 10:30 pm

      Inbox has a delete function, it's accessed via the vertical ellipses when you hover over or select a bundle or email.

      While I would prefer a delete button prominently placed next to the check mark (Done) button, I can understand why Google put it inside a menu.

    • Ben S
      October 31, 2014 at 8:54 pm

      That's a good point Digitalus. I guess they want you to forget about deleting unless you really have to. They said they're looking for feedback with this, so be sure to send them a note about the delete button if you want it!

    • cmadler
      November 6, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      It doesn't lack a delete button, but they've definitely buried it.

      What would really be a great power feature is being able to set some bundles to default to "Done"/Archive and others to default to delete. For example, I'm totally on board with not deleting emails that have actual content, but there's not really a point in archiving daily deals emails (e.g., Groupon), for example. With auto-backup of photos and 10 years of not deleting emails in Gmail, storage space does eventually start to fill up.

  64. likefunbutnot
    October 28, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    This looks like an Email application for people whom Google thinks aren't smart enough to use Email.

    • Ben S
      October 28, 2014 at 6:10 pm

      I don't know why you think that. It makes the interface more attractive, and still includes power options for those who like to be organized. Who isn't smart enough to use email?

    • likefunbutnot
      October 28, 2014 at 9:27 pm

      @Ben S,
      I'm perfectly capable of managing my E-mail. I'm aware of what message filters are and of how Google's search capabilities apply. I don't want or need Google to handle those things for me. I have other tools for to-do lists or reminders if I feel the need to use them.
      I particularly like the low density of information presented via the Inbox interface.

      All of this seems to me to be a big step backward; a monolithic tool that does lots of things poorly rather than one thing well.

    • Ben S
      October 29, 2014 at 12:46 am

      That's your take on it, then. Thankfully you don't have to use it, but if someone wants to try it they can. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • likefunbutnot
      October 29, 2014 at 1:57 am

      @Ben S,

      You asked for opinions. Not every idea that Google has is a good one.

  65. dragonmouth
    October 28, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    If Google wants to increase the productivity in GMail, all they have to do is allow the sorting of messages on Sender, Topic/Title and/or Date columns.

    • Ben S
      October 31, 2014 at 8:53 pm

      That's not a bad idea at all. I usually just search for this stuff, but it is a feature that is sorely lacking.

    • Freddy López
      November 11, 2014 at 3:11 am

      Exactly!! I dream with a gmail with SQL features incorporated!!

  66. Dann Albright
    October 28, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    Looks super cool! Great review of all of the features; I'm definitely looking forward to trying out the iOS version. Have you heard any rumors about this becoming a desktop client? Or is it likely to stay as web-based?

    • Ben S
      October 28, 2014 at 6:03 pm

      Yeah, I like it a lot! I was surprised how similar the iOS version was to its Android counterpart; that's why I had to devote so little space to it.

      I haven't heard or seen anything about it coming to the desktop, but it seems unlikely to me. Anything could happen, though!

  67. Mark M
    October 28, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    I started using Gmail as my primary email service really, really late...(like only about 10 months or slightly less)...this new Inbox seems to be what Gmail would be if you've bought into the whole "filter" system and took the time needed to create them. I'll admit Inbox seems to be more automated/intuitive without the use of user induced filters. I'd like to give it a test drive for a few weeks or so, but, ultimately I think this is going to be integrated into the current Gmail settings and there won't be a need for this as a separate email client ... but then again I've been wrong before...(remember how long It took me eons to change my default browser and email services...)

    • Ben S
      October 28, 2014 at 6:09 pm

      We'll see what happens! I feel like the best of Inbox will probably make its way to Gmail at some point, but we won't see Gmail go away for quite some time, if at all.

    • andy
      December 21, 2014 at 12:16 pm

      I am 100% behind that possibility, Mark. I have Inbox and *get* it, but I far more prefer having all of my emails in front of me, rather than swiped to the side/marked as done.

      I have no issue with Gmail allowing us to make more bundles, but that doesn't seem to be integrated beyond 'labels' in Gmail (i.e. I made a "news" bundle in Inbox, and when I used Gmail, it would just show up in my priority inbox instead of in another "news" tab; this was pretty annoying).

      Including this feature (along with snooze and reminders) should *not* be a big challenge for Google to integrate.

      More importantly, loading Inbox on my iOS system seems to be far, far faster than gmail; there's no reason why that kind of efficiency can't be done on the gmail app, in my opinion.

      My bottom line: I like a lot of the concepts that are included in Inbox, but I really don't need an entirely new email ecosystem.