31 May 2013

Official Gmail Blog: “A new inbox that puts you back in control”

Today, Gmail is getting a brand new inbox on desktop and mobile that puts you back in control using simple, easy organization.

On the desktop, the new inbox groups your mail into categories which appear as different tabs. You simply choose which categories you want and voilà! Your inbox is organized in a way that lets you see what’s new at a glance and decide which emails you want to read when. Itamar Gilad

I find the title ironic, since control is the exact opposite of this new feature: you get a couple of fixed categories and messages get sorted automatically into one of them. Or I should say randomly since in my inbox I saw newsletters scattered across ‘Promotions’, ‘Updates’ and ‘Forums’ with no apparent logic. This sounds very similar to Auto-Enhance on Google+ processing photos in the background, removing control from users and giving it to ’s beloved algorithms.

The result in Gmail is simply more clutter and less order. I mean, how many systems for managing the inbox can we still fit into it?! From the beginning there was stars and filters, later Priority Inbox and Circles and now Categories? Sorry, but this does exactly nothing for me, I’m going to stick with my custom filters which have worked reliably and predictably for years.

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