Google is offering a new way for users to keep track of emails, called Inbox, which it has been working on for years under the code-name "Project Bigtop."
The system is an alternative to Gmail and promises to make managing emails much easier. Google also recently updated its Gmail app.
"We think email is really great--it's open, it's ubiquitous, you can use it on any device. But the world has changed a lot since it was invented," said Alex Gawley, product director of both Gmail and Inbox.
The new system barely even looks like an email app and is much like a social media feed and even prioritizes messages.
"In 2004, when Gmail was launched we were still three years away from the first iPhone," continued Gawley. "We thought, 'What if we started completely fresh, what if we built a whole new product that was an inbox that really, truly tried to do the work for you?' -- an inbox that tried to help you get back to what mattered to you."
The new app organizes all of a user's messages into what it calls "Bundles," which can be created using tags, or by simply grouping messages manually. Bundles can also be created based on aspects such as the sender of the email, keywords in emails, and more. Users can then sift through bundles, and if nothing appeals to them they can swipe the entire bundle away.
One feature is called "Highlights." Highlights essentially pulls out important information from emails and arranges it to be easily viewed. For example, often in flight-confirmation emails, important information like flight time and gate is buried below text. Highlights will go into the email and put the important information at the top.
Another interesting addition is the ability to snooze emails and actions. For example, if a user gets an email that they don't want to deal with until they get to work the next day, they can snooze it until they get there.
Of course, Inbox does have certain limitations. For example, users can't yet add Highlights straight to a calendar and the app does not allow users to save photos to be shared with other apps.
Inbox comes in both an app for iOS and Android and in a desktop version. While the new app certainly is cool, for now it's invite only, but to request an invite you can shoot an email to email@example.com. You may initially get a response that the Google mail server is too overwhelmed to respond, but don't despair. Shortly after you will likely get another email that an invite is on the way.