Google aims to fight inbox clutter with tabbed categories

By on May 29, 2013, 3:45 PM

Google is rolling out a major update for Gmail designed to automatically organize your inbox through smart categories for things such as social updates and promotions. These categories appear as large tabs atop your inbox on desktops or a sliding side menu on phones, and essentially build upon 2010’s Priority Inbox feature by making sure only the most important stuff is front and center while the rest is left to review in bulk later.

There are five different categories available (Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates, and Forums) which you can turn on or off individually from the settings menu. Once activated, Google will automatically move your messages into each category, and you can also drag-and-drop messages to teach Gmail how they should be filtered. From there you can click between the different tabs and only see more coherent subsets of your email.

Notifications about tagged photos on Facebook and mentions on Twitter, for example, would be grouped under the Social tab. Groupon deals would show up in the Promotions tab, things like bills and receipts show up under Updates, while messages from actual contacts would be displayed under Primary.

The update will be "rolling out gradually" over the next few weeks on the desktop, as well as Gmail’s iOS and Android apps. Needless to say Gmail’s classic inbox view will still be available for those who prefer it this way.




User Comments: 12

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JC713 JC713 said:

I dont have this on either my desktop gmail or my iOS one. There is no iOS update yet.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Yeah I have this running.. Time will tell though how it goes well or not so well?

JC713 JC713 said:

Yeah I have this running.. Time will tell though how it goes well or not so well?

How did you get it running?

asdf said:

Haaa, funny Google is going to copy Outlook.com for Gmail. I have been using categories for while now.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Is this like a Folders concept only we're not allowed to make our own we have to use the ones they give us?

bugejakurt said:

To enable the new feature if it has not been enabled automatically in your GMail inbox, go to the wrench icon at the top right of your page, underneath your Google avatar, and click on "Configure Inbox". Then press OK and this feature will be available for you.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Nice!

Instead of a single box of clutter because people don't manually manage their Inbox, there will be 5 independent categories of clutter.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

To enable the new feature if it has not been enabled automatically in your GMail inbox, go to the wrench icon at the top right of your page, underneath your Google avatar, and click on "Configure Inbox". Then press OK and this feature will be available for you.

I don't see any wrench icon, just a gear or sprocket and there's nothing about "configure inbox" in the drop down menu. Maybe Google forgot all about me.

bugejakurt said:

I don't see any wrench icon, just a gear or sprocket and there's nothing about "configure inbox" in the drop down menu. Maybe Google forgot all about me.

Sorry not wrench but the gear icon. Within it I have a menu item "configure inbox". It seems that it has not been released for all users. Just wait and you'll see

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

In the video you can see they also updated the Android version.

HyperPete HyperPete said:

That worked for me. Somehow, I don't like it, though. I have already created folders for my mail, this seems unecessary.

JC713 JC713 said:

To enable the new feature if it has not been enabled automatically in your GMail inbox, go to the wrench icon at the top right of your page, underneath your Google avatar, and click on "Configure Inbox". Then press OK and this feature will be available for you.

Thanks. It wasnt available yesterday for me.

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