On Wednesday, Google unveiled its new take on email with a product they call Inbox. It’s currently available by invitation only, but we were lucky enough to get access right away and we’ve spent the last 24 hours playing with it.
While it may, at first glance, seem like a straight-forward redesign of Gmail, it’s actually a totally new system that’s designed to help people better manage and visualize their inboxes’ overwhelming amount of information.
Google says that Inbox– a product that’s been years in the making– is designed to help people focus on what really matters to them. Unlike a traditional email system that lists your messages chronologically, Inbox algorithmically scans your messages, organizes and orders them in a feed that has a distinct social network-like look and feel.
How Inbox does that is through what Google calls Bundles and Highlights. Inbox automatically sorts your messages into bundles based on subject matter such as Finance, Social and Travel. It also highlights important content from messages (such as flight itineraries) with visual, snackable information (including actions like boarding-pass barcodes) similar to a Google Now card.
Inbox takes this a step further with a new intelligent reminder system feature, which allows you to create tasks that will pop up at a specific time or location. Inbox even helps you complete those tasks by providing intelligent pieces of information such as phone numbers and weather (Google calls these Assists). For example, say you add a reminder to “make a reservation at [restaurant],” Inbox will immediately supplement the restaurant’s phone number and business hours. Both reminders as well as email messages can be conveniently snoozed to other days or locations.
All of these features would be incredibly beneficial to a traveler. Below, we highlight some ways to use Inbox to improve your travel experience: