Gmail update

Google has been working to reduce the clutter in our inboxes for some time and has just announced a sizeable update to Gmail, both on the web and on mobile, to further combat the problem.  The update brings tabbed inboxes to your Gmail that automatically divide the mail you receive into categories.

The default categories are:

  • Primary (this is the email you want to receive from friends and family)
  • Social (updates you receive from social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+)
  • Promotions (Offers from sites like Groupon or LivingSocial)
  • Updates (Receipts from places like Google Play and Amazon)

The new Gmail will support up to five tabs, and they are of course customizable. Google understands that not all of us will want every category that it has selected, so we can choose which ones to ignore. You can move messages between tabs to tell Google to place any mail from that sender into a certain tab from now on. You can also star messages, which will tell Google that is is an important message that should appear in the Primary tab.

The update will also be sent out to Gmail for Android "within the next few weeks". The new Android app will support the tabs by placing tham in a left sidebar which you can swipe to in order to choose which inbox to view.

The new update looks nice and any way I can get to my important email faster I am all for. What do you all think of the upcoming update?

Source: Gmail Blog


Reader comments

Gmail for Android, web to get tabbed inboxes to reduce clutter


Where did you get that? This is what I read:

"The new inbox is rolling out gradually. The desktop, Android and iOS versions will become available within the next few weeks."

Sounds to me like they're all coming over the next few weeks.

Because I'm an idiot and need to learn to read. I guess my brain wants the update so badly that I read it differently. My bad.

I'm thinking they're going to allow some folks to start pulling the new desktop version (via Settings) starting this Friday (May 31st). I have no inside information... just a gut feeling.

"The new inbox is rolling out gradually. The desktop, Android and iOS versions will become available within the next few weeks. If you'd like to try out the new inbox on Desktop sooner, keep an eye on the gear menu and select Configure inbox when it appears in the Settings options."

Okay so I'm gathering that the Gmail app isn't getting a update, it is Google updating the back end. Just like the Playstore updates.


Just another layer of confusion if you ask me.

I've already got Gmail set up to filter mail into specific folders (labels) and I really don't need Gmail second guessing me with any auto-sort. Its probably going to mess up my filters.

I spoze if someone was too lazy to set up filters (after all it took like 6 whole clicks) it might be of some help.

On the contrary, I like improvements. But change for change's sake wastes my time.

I feel that the new "everything is a card" interface, while flashy, is a big step backward in functionality. Since that is being pushed to every google app, I'm increasingly dismayed.

This is the latest salvo from Google in its war on power users. Take away as much control from the end user as you can, and just 'auto do everything' for them.

I tend to use Gmail as a place to have unwanted mail to anyway, much prefer outlook (desktop, not cloud version) as it allows sorting by sender, sent to etc, never understood Google fighting the need for this very basic function

Can I delete the categories because that idea is STUPID I don't want Google categorizing my email it's all equally important these STUPID ideas suck, one inbox is the right way to do email.

That's just your opinion. You're not like everyone else, so stop being so harsh. People will find these categories useful. I'm liking the idea since I categorize my mail into folders already.

No its not just his opinion.

And since you categorize already, why do you thing this google second guessing your categorizations?

It's a CHOICE. It's not forced on anyone. Disable it if you don't like it. Go back to the old G+ stream if you don't like the cards. Google isn't limiting you, as always they are giving you another CHOICE. Oy ..

didn't you read the article where its says its totally customizable?? all you have to do is un check a couple of boxes and you back to old look

These 'ideas' aren't "STUPID" they are very useful tools that you don't have to use.

"one inbox is the right way to do email"
I use one email at work and have MANY emails coming from all kinds of different companies/clients/social networks/etc... and I can tell you if I only had a 1 inbox setup it would be a fustercluck.

OK, I'm not quite at that level of hate, but yeah, I agree that this is not for everyone. I don't sign up for Groupons and other random crap, I already have well-defined filters for the various social services and I want everything else in a single inbox because Google does search well and it does it quickly. I just sincerely hope that this is not going to be another app whose updates I have to disable, like I had to with Talk.

I've had these basic categories in place for a long time now, so for me personally, I don't find this useful.

As long as this doesn't become a forced change at some point, that's fine as I can see where others will find it useful. :)

two things google MUST improve upon: 1) advertising support for products (Nexus 10 says hi) and 2) stop these dumb phased rollouts (and the "friend must invite you" rollouts too ala gmail, wave, voice, wallet)

I like the idea. I'm already using the multiple inboxes lab and superstars to manage my work email and todo/GTD lists. It would be nice to customize those tabs. On a related note, I could really use superstars on my mobile.

And yes on the mobile app still no support for images in signatures nor the ability to turn off conversation view.

I must be one of the few people still not bothering with the Gmail app. I access my work inbox also, so it's just more convenient to use the Exchange-compatible mail app in whatever device I've got, and add Gmail via IMAP or Exchange.

Nothing wrong with doing that if that's what works for you. I access my corporate email on a completely different phone from my personal stuff, due to security requirements, so it's not an option for me.

For Gmail, though, I'm all-in with the Gmail app, and I'm looking forward to the update. I've found Gmail to be excellent and actually enjoy using it. I have email that I've imported into Gmail dating back to 2001 and can find ANY message in seconds.

I think that it was very nice of you to provide a picture of you holding a phone with the new Gmail tab interface on it, but, really now, you did not have to go all out and paint your nails!

When I get an attachment, it has a three dots menu, that offers Preview, Save, or Download again. What version are you running where these options are missing?

Still on Gingerbread? Time to upgrade or root/ROM, my friend. Don't let your carrier's abandonment of your phone stop you from experiencing the here and now.

I just wish they would allow me to customize the conversation view in the app. I hate it.

I got the desktop update. My tabs look slightly different than what I'm seeing in the screenshots, for example there's no words under the tab names (in the pic I see "Promotions" tab and then underneath that "Google Offers, Zagat"..I only have the word "Promotions". I don't see a way to change any of the tab labels either.

I like the idea of tabs, but I want the mobile app to allow me to turn off conversation mode like I can on the desktop.

You can already get these news labels and filtering by enabling "smart labels" in the labs menu. I've been using them for a couple weeks. You have to enable through the desktop then of course they sync across devices.

If I remember right, all the Android 4.2 demos showed 4:20pm. This one shows 4:30pm... I'm just throwing that out there

Did anyone notice that the time was 4:30 in the phone part of the video? In the 4.2 videos... the time is 4:20. in android 3.0 honeycomb videos... its 3:00
Looks like 4.3 will be here soon

Now wouldn't that be a business opportunity, cluttering your customers' inboxes and offering them a way to sort it all out.

Google doesn't sign you up for spam, you do that, but Google does have some nice spam filters once you make a little effort to let them know what you consider spam

Yeah, well....

Nice, but I really wish they would unify the stock Email client with the GMail one.

I know Google wants to push their services, but it shouldn't be done at the expense of user experience.

anybody noticed the time in the shot? 4.30...and this has been going on(during 4.2 release...the time was 4.20)

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.


Follow me on twitter!

This has nothing to do with this post but I was wondering if, in the picture, that's nail polish in the background of the picture? :-)