Google Inbox: Is Gmail on the Way Out?

Jan 13, 2015 | Email Marketing

We’re going to help explain how Inbox is different from Gmail, what other professionals are saying, and whether or not we can expect to be saying goodbye to Gmail in the near future.

Google Inbox vs. Gmail

Are you an avid Gmail user? Have you given the new Google email app, Inbox, a try? Some users are finding Inbox to be a useful new tool with a modern design, whereas others are struggling with the lack of features and entirely different format. We’re going to help explain how Inbox is different from Gmail, what other professionals are saying, and whether or not we can expect to be saying goodbye to Gmail in the near future.

What is Google Inbox?

In October of 2014, Google released a new email app, aimed at enhancing their current configuration, Gmail. Here’s how Google summarizes Inbox:

“Built on everything we learned from Gmail, Inbox is a fresh start that goes beyond email to help you get back to what matters.”

As you can see, the overall goal of the new app was to better optimize a user’s email account, making it easier to navigate. One major focus of Inbox is the “bundles”. This term refers to the way in which Inbox groups certain types of messages together, such as promotions, purchases, and travel. You can also create your own bundles. Additional key features include email highlights, custom reminders, and a snooze button.

Google Inbox vs. Gmail 5.0

So what makes Inbox so different from traditional Gmail? The biggest change of course is the design and layout. Additionally, the heavy focus on bundles is an improvement from Gmail’s limited tabs. Below are additional features of both Inbox and the latest Gmail update, Gmail 5.0.

Gmail

  • 5 Set Tabs: Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates and Forums (and customization options)
  • Supports Microsoft Exchange, Yahoo, Outlook, IMAP, and POP mail
  • Ability to permanently delete emails

Google Inbox

  • Automatic and Custom Bundles
  • Quick actions for organizing emails (i.e. swiping)
  • Ability to pin emails to the top as reminders
  • Emails may not be deleted, just archived
  • Invite-Only

Public Perception of Inbox

The public perception of Inbox has been mixed. Some people love the new bundling capabilities, some are just struggling with the change, and others flat out do not like the format. According to JR Raphael from Computerworld, “at first glance, Inbox can look like a jumbled mess”. Raphael struggled with the way Inbox organized things and their renaming of familiar commands. On the other hand, Raphael enjoyed the modern design, snooze feature, and highlights feature. Raphael did note that Inbox is missing many of Gmail’s more advanced features including signatures, shortcuts, and drag-and-drop attachments.

Minda Zetlin, Co-Author of “The Geek Gap” and blogger on Inc.com, also decided to switch back to Gmail after giving Inbox a try. According to Zetlin, she enjoyed the look, snooze button, and bundles but was unable to access her contacts, found difficulty viewing prior emails from a sender, and strongly disliked the lack of a signature feature.

Overall, it is hard to say where Inbox and Gmail are headed. However, at this point we can’t see Gmail going anywhere. Inbox will have to make some more improvements before it can oust Gmail completely.

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