Google Inbox Review

Google Inbox came out with a great and nicely presented idea of a cleaner inbox that has been around since Inbox Zero. In short, your inbox should be like your mail, messages come in and you take them all out, leaving the mailbox empty and ready for more messages. Most people tend to leave all their messages in their inbox and determine if they need to act on messages based on the unread status. This is a poor idea because important messages can be buried and as you wait to find time to take care of them.

Google Inbox has some cool features to help solve this problem. They can make your messages disappear from your inbox and have the reappear in a week just when you need it (very similar to Boomerang for Gmail but this extension lets you delay sending messages!). They also automatically organize message the way GMail’s priority inbox did it but Google Inbox allows you to receive all of them in bulk daily or weekly. This helps to keep your inbox clean without constant clutter throughout the day. I used Google Inbox on my computer and on my Android phone for about a month. Above were my compliments but below are my complaints. I have complaints because I feel Google Inbox was rushed to market too quickly.

No signatures – Professional people need to add a signature with their emails, whether with a name/phone number/email or just a “from my cell” message.

Categories showing in Inbox – Users can select to have a category like “Promotions” appear in their inbox daily or weekly, but only at 7am. I would like the option of bringing these categories up at night rather than seeing them to start my day.

Message formatting – The options available for formatting an email are less than Gmail, but that is fine since Google is trying to do more with less. My issue is that when replying inline to an email message, the only shown option is to add an attachment. Bullets are not readily available in line. My work around is to select the attachment button when typing in line so the message draft pop outs. The pop out allows message formatting.

Long email threads – Long emails that approach 80-100 replies begin to lose the ability to show quoted text and items that are not supposed to be hidden become hidden. This is also a bug in Gmail.

Chatting button – It is hidden at the top because I know multiple people that could not find it. There were no default tutorials or help bubbles shown when one starts to use Inbox to find this button. It is also slow and unresponsive to me, causing me to restart the page to get it to work.

Reply/Reply All/Forward – Emails have a conversation feel. One can forward the current email but attempting to reply or forward and older email in the middle of a thread results in misplaced button pressing and an unresponsive site. Doing it correctly is harder than it should be.

Typing on Android – I have experienced the problem of needing to restart the Google Inbox Android App because entering text into a conversation breaks. I can see myself typing words but they are not appearing in the text of the email body.

Edit – Dec 29th

Available Browsers – Just noticed this so updating, Google Inbox is only available for Google Chrome, not even Firefox. That is interesting and inconvenient for me.

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