What is Inbox by Gmail?

In the back end of 2014, Google released a new email client simply named, Inbox. But what is it and how is it different from Gmail?
What is Inbox by Gmail?

In the back end of 2014, Google released a new email client simply named, Inbox. It’s positioned as the most productive email handler ever, but what makes it so good? And, how does it differ to Google’s long-standing provider, Gmail?

Before we delve into the world of Inbox, let’s quickly cover off a few points.


  • Inbox isn’t Gmail, and Gmail is still a fully functioning thing. Currently there are no known plans for Inbox to replace anything, so wipe that sweat off your brow, long-serving Gmailer.
  • Inbox doesn’t use the normal terms you would expect from email providers, but rather it uses words like ‘pinned’, ‘snoozed’ and ‘done’ (which are all so Google by the way, but we’ll get to this).
  • And, finally, Google believes we should never delete anything. There’s an understanding at Google that everything that’s ever online, should remain there. And, that culture is present within Inbox.


Pin – By using the small pin icon at the top of the screen, you can come back to important emails when it suits you. Imagine you have train tickets booked, and you need the booking reference when you get to the station. Pinning stuff keeps it at the top of the page, so it’s easy to find when you need it.

Snooze – This feature is perfect if the email you’ve received isn’t time sensitive. You can set Inbox to remind you again in a couple of hours, or it can be determined by location – like reminding you to pay a bill when you get home. To Snooze an email, swipe left on the message.

Done – This is for when you’re finished with an email. However, instead of deleting it, or just letting it stagnate in your inbox, it’s archived, but it won’t be contributing to the clutter. To mark an email as Done, swipe right on the message.

Using these functions together creates a very ‘to-do list’ type experience, which we assume is exactly what Google was going for.


To get involved with Inbox, you need to be invited. You can get an invite by asking Google for one using the address ‘inbox@google.com’. You’ll receive an automated response to confirm they’ve received your request and after a few days, you should get your invite. Alternatively, you can get invites from friends.

To do this, get your mate to click on the big addition sign in the red bubble (bottom right hand corner of the main screen). This is where you can create new messages, invite friends to use Inbox and access your reminders.

The big question at the moment is – why is Google making Inbox an invite only service, when invites are so easy to come by? Could it just be a way to create that feeling of exclusivity? Or perhaps it’s a way of dealing with a swift rise in popularity – answers on a postcard.

One thing’s for sure though, Inbox understands you and your mail. It’s a productive service and one that will grow with you.

If you need any advice on setting up an Inbox account, drop us a comment and we’ll get right back to you.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

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