A recent announcement that I saw on Google+ told the story of how Google Inbox is going to be available for Google Apps Domains (at the moment it’s only available for personal accounts – those that end in gmail.com).
There is a problem however, I don’t see a use for Inbox in the Domain environment, here is why:
- GMail allows you to set Out of Office notifications, Inbox does not – this is a really handy feature for when you aren’t in school due to a conference or not in the office due to a meeting. Keeping people in the loop is essential and opens up paths of communication.
- GMail allows you to manage tasks and add emails to your calendar, Inbox doesn’t do this. The ability to add an email to your task list, or to turn it into a calendar entry, is one of my favourtie features in GMail.
- GMail allows you to choose your inbox type, and delegate others to manage your e-mail. This is really handy depending on your job role.
- GMail has the ability to add rules and show e-mails with multiple labels. Inbox doesn’t allow you to assign more than one label.
So these are just a few of the reasons that I’m not sure that Inbox is going to take off. Don’t get me wrong, I use Inbox everyday for my personal GMail account, here’s why:
- Inbox filters out all of my promotional e-mails and doesn’t notify me about them
- Inbox makes sure that all of my updates from forums and discussion groups get organised together
- Inbox allows me to quickly archive and get rid of messages that I don’t want to read, and keeps my inbox less cluttered
- Inbox has the ability to snooze an e-mail, I don’t have to worry about it right now, and it will appear in my inbox again as a new message in a few days
Inbox is simple, it doesn’t have many features which relate to day to day business. Unless your business e-mail is full of junk, offers and promotions, or you use it as your personal email account (which we all know you shouldn’t be doing), then it is missing almost all of the features which relate to business use.
There is an exception however, I think it might work really well in Elementary Education, to get students started with email. It is simple to use, it has few additional features, and all of the mail synchronises back to GMail, so you can migrate to GMail after you need the additional features.
So as Google have produced Inbox you would think that the Android App would be great! Well that again is where things fall apart, it sucks. When you are replying to an email, the tick, to mark a message as done, is where the send button should be, and the send button gets hidden by the keyboard. I cannot count the number of times that I think that I have sent an email to then discover that it is sat in my drafts because in a rush I hit the tick, thinking that it would send the message.
So to wrap up, Inbox just isn’t going to make the inroads that Google want it to in the domain sector, it might be used in Education by those who just don’t understand how to use their email effectively, or who want a simpler experience for students, but if you are a daily email user then Inbox just doesn’t cut it.