Google rolling out new-look Gmail inbox with categories and tabbed UI

By , May 29, 2013

New Gmail inbox (web 002)

In a steady stream of updates, Google has been perfecting its mobile Gmail app, adding new features and smoothing out rough edges over time. For example, back in March the Gmail iOS app added new gestures so you could swipe left and right to move between messages, without having to return to their inbox. And in a minor update earlier in the month, the software gained ability to open web links in Google’s other apps, like Maps and YouTube.

Well, today’s a big day as the Gmail team just announced a brand new inbox across mobile Gmail apps and on the web. So, what’s new? Basically, categories and tabbed interface, to allow for easier organization of email messages.

Read on for additional details and promo video…

The Gmail team argues that customizable tabs lets you see what’s new at a glance and decide which emails you want to read and when.

You have five (optional) tabs to file your email messages: Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates and Forums. The system supports drag and drop to move messages between tabs and lets you choose to have a sender always appear in a particular tab.

As for the desktop version:

On the desktop, the new inbox groups your mail into categories which appear as different tabs. You simply choose which categories you want and voilà!

Your inbox is organized in a way that lets you see what’s new at a glance and decide which emails you want to read when.

Here’s the new inbox view on the iPhone…

Gmail new inbox (iPhone)

…on Android…

Gmail new inbox (Android)

…and on the web…

Gmail new inbox (web)

Check out the promotional video.

The Verge has posted a nice hands-on, have a look.

The new inbox is a staggered release so you should expect the desktop, Android and iOS apps to be updated “within the next few weeks.”  The updated experience supports both the iPhone and iPad. On Android, it requires version 4.0 or later.

If you can’t wait and desperately want to try out new functionality sooner, keep an eye on the gear menu in the web interface and select Configure Inbox when it appears in the Settings options.

Too bad I long stopped wasting my time filing individual email messages into folders.

I’ve found it much easier to just sort through the messages in my inbox, deleting ones I won’t be needing and replying to or archiving those I might need later.

Not only has that approach saved my time, I’ve also become more efficient now.

Basically, I’m not calling it a day until hitting inbox zero.

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  • Om

    Looks great on the iPhone, but not so good on the Android. JMO.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Diego-Milano/629446773 Diego Milano

    Yes, sir! You can do so much with very little… ;)

  • chris125

    It’s funny google apps look better on IOS than they do on their own platform.

  • chjode

    Boy, Google really, really wants me to look for another email service.

    • Dan

      I don’t think Google cares, and no one is forcing you to use this feature.

      • Craig

        Well right now, there’s a bug in the Android client that prevents hiding/disabling these dumb categories. It’s just visual clutter to me.

  • momerathe

    Inbox zero baby!

    • Craig

      I shudder to think what kind of garbage mail you get if this helps. Just unsubscribe from crap and stop wasting time on garbage social promotions websites and you won’t spend half you life trawling your inbox.

  • vinotz

    No looking back to Gmail IOS app when there is an awesome Mailbox app .

    • Gustavo Adolfo Mirabal

      Tried mailbox but its not just for me. I dont get that many emails so inbox zero feature is not a big thing for me. The lack of search and landscape view on my iphone was a deal breaker for me. Don’t get me wrong, i didnt uninstalled i just delete my gmail account and will wait until it gets more mature.

  • http://www.thomashenryharry.com/ Harry O’Grady

    You can get the new inbox right now! Just discovered it hidden in settings on the gmail web app.

    Simply click on the gear icon and then click ‘Configure Inbox’, then check the boxes you want and save. It will now tell you you have the new Gmail inbox.

    Enjoy!

  • Gustavo Adolfo Mirabal

    For some reason i’m not getting that inbox. No update badge and on the app store says last version may 6th :(

  • Joe Benning

    I want to like this app, but I don’t like it that I can’t save embedded pictures to my camera roll.

  • Scot

    How can we switch back to the old version on android? This new version Sucks!

    • Craig

      Seconded. Unfortunately you can’t switch back. Google knows best.