Friday, 21 November 2014

Inbox By Gmail Review

After using Inbox by Gmail on and off for a few weeks I thought that it was about time that I wrote a review of it.

Unlike the Gmail interface the Inbox interface is very minimalistic and takes a bit of getting used to as the tabbed category interface with the always on show sidebar has been replaced by a slide out sidebar that us the Hot dog menu (three stacked lines) that was first introduced in chrome to hide and show the sidebar along with a re-design of the category tabs.

This layout change along with a big red circle in the bottom left brings a consistency to both the web interface along with the Android & iOS apps.

The category tabs in Gmail have been replaced with category bundles in Inbox, category bundles work the same as category tabs but instead of going across the top of the interface they go down the centre of the screen in a stack and show a snippet of the last received message in each category. Un-categorized messages then get dumped at the bottom of the stack of bundles, which is far more intuitive than having a Primary tab along with the category tabs.

Having the drawer style sidebar makes for a clutter free working environment compared to the always on show sidebar in gmail. Another new feature in Inbox is the ability to pin messages to the message list, pinned messages appear  at the bottom for un-categorized messages or within their category for categorized messages.

The ability to flag mail with stars along with mark mail read  without opening the individual message has been removed in Inbox along with the ability to mark messages unread, why these basic features that everyone who has used Gmail prior to Inbox will have become used to using will then have to get used to working differently & I think that this is one of the reasons behind why I've found it hard to move over to Inbox full-time once the newness had worn off.

I must say that using the pinning method to flag messages that you want to come back to is more elegant than flagging with stars, now the change of name from archive in Gmail to Done in Inbox doesn't make much sense to me since both Archive and Mark as Done does the same thing, but with the addition of being able to setup Reminders for messages then it seems a little redundant in having Archive for messages and Mark as Done for messages with reminders then having to options that do the same thing is a little redundant as well as adding an extra layer of complexity to the Inbox code that could make it easy for something to go wrong.


I love how simplistic the interface is in Inbox and how it focuses on getting things done with your messages and less about having every feature imaginable available to you all on show than what the Gmail interface focuses on, but the minimalistic focused interface takes a bit of getting used to especially for seasoned Gmail users.


I've got 5 invites to Inbox for five lucky readers and all you've got to to is leave a comment to this Article on Google +, the competition closes at 10am Pacific Time (6pm GMT) on Friday the 28th of November.


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