In an announcement that was originally leaked by TechCrunch a few days, Google has unveiled a new Gmail that brings new levels of organization to our mail. The idea is simple: automatically categorize incoming email into tags that make the most sense for us like Social Media notifications or Promotions. To an extent, this capability has been around for a long time with the use of Filters, but Filters had to be manually set up. If you wanted to shunt every incoming social media notification into a custom folder or label, you’d have to create a Filter that recognizes each social network and their email activity.
Google now does that for you.
And instead of labels, the new categories are tabs across the top (desktop) or tabs in the slide-out menu (mobile) that can easily be selected. Users can click or tap Social, Promotions or Updates and see those messages. You can see the tabs on desktop below:
Of course the Primary tab contains all of your most important email, giving you the freedom to concentrate on the things you want to see and take care of most.
According to an interview with TechCrunch, Alex Gawley, Google’s product manager for Gmail, said the main motivation behind this redesign was to figure out how to help users navigate the constant stream of new emails most of us have to handle today. What the team realized, he said, was that while Gmail added filters, Priority Inbox and more customization features, “your inbox started to feel like your master.” As users browse through messages, they are constantly switching context and that takes its toll as you handle a few dozen emails.
Here’s a great video from Google:
All users will have the option to disable these categories, and switch back and forth between the various styles of Inboxes. I appreciate that Google allows us to choose how we want to use our Inbox best.