The Inbox by Gmail shut down announcement comes as little surprise to those who follow these things closely and it will happen in March 2019…
If there’s one thing that’s constant with Google, it’s change. The search and tech company is well-known for running all sorts of tests, introducing products and services, only to discontinue them. Well, it’s happening again. This time, Inbox by Gmail, its long-running email client experiment, is about to expire.
Inbox by Gmail Shut Down Announced
Google explains it is retiring the product to place its focus “solely on Gmail.” And, this isn’t exactly unexpected. Over the course of the past several months, many of the pioneering features of the service have either been added to Gmail or gone away entirely. For instance, email AMP experience first appeared in Inbox — it could make its way over to Gmail. And, in August, the company abruptly removed two features from Inbox.
Those types of instances have only intensified since the extensive Gmail redesign went live. But, it’s quite common for Big G to depreciate its test subjects. That’s what Inbox purportedly was — a testing space for new features to migrate over to Gmail or to phase out. (After all, it’s very complicated to introduce new test features to a service with a billion users.)
Released in 2014, one of its most unique options was link saving. It allowed users to save web links in a folder; forgoing having to email links to themselves. Another feature, Smart Reply, debuted on Inbox by Gmail; now, it’s part of the Gmail interface. Moreover, a similar tool, Smart Compose followed, skipping Inbox altogether.
However, not all of Inbox’s features made their way over to Gmail. For instance, trip bundles, one of the most useful and aesthetically eye-catching, is absent in Gmail. This automatically sorted flights, hotel reservations, and the like into an easy-to-navigate bundle. Although, Google says it does plan to bring this to Gmail early next year.
As part of the change, Google offers this guide to move from Inbox to Gmail. User have six months, until March 2019, to make the transition.