So here’s the thing, Google is all about the services. Sure they are getting better at design with each new Android update, but it’s really the services we all flock to. With Gmail they really hit a home run. They created not only the best webmail experience bar none, they also created a service they could use to filter through everyone’s data with permission and store it all.
Right from the word go, because Gmail was so fast and light, we were encouraged not to delete mail, instead using the excellent search to find what mail we required at any time. All the time maintaining masses of data for Google to serve you ads. Not just when using Gmail, but ads that could follow you around the whole internet.
We are no longer stuck in the original iPhone where email was considered more important than MMS. We are in a new age, one in which to the everyday user email is dead.
Sure it will always be around with business use, but the average user really doesn’t need it other than to sign up for websites. With services like Facebook, Snapchat and Whats-app there really is no need for the average user to email all that much. Creating a very real problem with the decreased use of Gmail.
Sure everyone has one if they have an an Android phone. However if its not used there no way for Google to collect all this valuable advertising data to keep the service viable. So Google changed it up, brought email up to date, and gave us Inbox. Making it obvious from the outset Inbox is Google’s attempt to make Gmail useful again to keep your life going.
Making the email app more useful is a brilliant play by Google. After all they can’t really make email itself more interesting can they? Inbox has incorporated both time and location based reminders, todo lists and Google Now-like cards into one app. With one swoop making emailing your friends more interesting and also entertaining. Its not going to entice a business user to use the service, but it will prove a great addition to entice younger individuals.
Clean Inbox Clean Mind
Google have aimed Inbox square at the casual user, not the power user. In fact they have gone as far as restricting the service to Gmail users, not Google app users. Despite the promise that the service will be expanded later on, I can’t see them incorporating it as Google app accounts still don’t work with Google Now.
Using all of their experience Google have used quite a few tricks to encourage as much data as possible to be left in your inbox with a thinly veiled attempt to tell you the inbox is empty.
We all like an empty inbox, mail replacements like Mailbox have encouraged it as a sudo achievement. There’s just one thing, the inbox is not empty at all. A switch back to Gmail will show you it’s still nicely full of all the info that Google desires, it just presents a nice clean achievement-like screen.
Gmail has tried for a while to give this illusion, instead preferring you to ‘archive’ not ‘trash.’ Then presenting different labels for you to file things under. Now with Inbox deleting email is not only not required, its hidden away in a menu, instead you get a nice life affirming ‘DONE’ tick instead. It makes my life feel a little more complete every time I tick an email as done!
Email Done Right
There is no denying what an excellent service Inbox is. It has well and truly made an email app useful for personal communication again. We won’t go into details about it here as there is already a mountain of reviews and videos covering features.
Sure there are moans and groans about features missing, such as mark as read and sending as an alias like Gmail. It’s not going to please those that already use email often, as with the Google apps restriction its just not meant to. Inbox is meant to be attractive for the average user.
However it’s moving in the the right direction, and will only get better and better. If the rumoured calendar update is half as good as Inbox we are in for a treat.
Oh one last thing, no I don’t have any invites.