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New Gmail Adds Category Tabs to Tame Inboxes



Google will once again attempt to tame the inboxes of users across the world. This time it’ll attempt to do so with a newly revamped user interface for the company’s Gmail on iOS, Android and web versions.

The changes, which were announced earlier today on the company’s Official Gmail Blog, will seek to address the clutter of email with an updated inbox by dividing and categorizes the email of users based on the common types of email users receive.

For example, emails sent to users by social networks would surface in the “Social Updates” category of the user’s inbox, while offers and promotions sent to users by retailers would end up in a new “Promotions” category of their Inbox.  Users will be able to choose the categories they want.

The new Gmail categories feature.

The new Gmail categories feature.

While users can manage where messages are categorized simply by dragging messages to different areas, they’ll also be able to change the settings so that emails from particular email address automatically get categorized once they arrive, saving them the trouble of filtering through the same emails twice before responding or deleting them.

A sneak peak at the new Gmail for Android and iPhone.

A sneak peak at the new Gmail for Android and iPhone.

In addition to the web, this new Inbox will also debut in forthcoming updates for Gmail’s applications for iPad, iPhone, and Android. These updated applications should surface in their respective application stores “within the next few weeks”, according to the blog post. Users who prefer not to use the new categorized inbox can turn the functionality off by enabling the classic view of Gmail.

Users who want to try the new feature for themselves using Gmail on the web will be able to do so “sooner”. A notification on the gear icon in the top right hand corner of the users’ Gmail screen will let them know when the feature has rolled out to their account.

Read: Replaces Hotmail and Windows Live with Clean Interface

The idea of automatically having email categorized based on topic isn’t exactly new to web-based email users. Microsoft’s has offered an auto sorting feature, which is also called categories, for sometime. Microsoft makes this functionality available in it’s iPhone and Android applications, however it doesn’t yet offer it to users of it’s built in mail client for Windows Phone.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Steven Vore (@StevenJV)

    05/29/2013 at 1:18 pm

    Gmail’s also had tags, and rules for automatically assigning them (leaving the messages in the inbox or not) for quite some time. This appears to be a ‘refinement’ of that.

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