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Google today is announcing updates to its Inbox for Gmail email application. Now, instead of showing you a bunch of separate emails from source code repository service GitHub and task management app Trello, Inbox will wrap them all up into a single card, and you can hit a button to open them up in their respective third-party apps.
Google is doing something similar with its Google Alerts service, which sends you email notifications for new online mentions of things that you choose to follow.
“New alerts are summarized right in the inbox. If one of them catches your eye, you can click to read more. If not, you can quickly mark it as done,” Google product manager Thijs van As wrote in a blog post.
These changes follow Google’s efforts to aggregate emails about events.
Today’s changes could make Inbox a better choice, particularly for people who have grown tired of the usual email interface, with line after line of messages. Not that there’s anything wrong with the good old Gmail app for mobile and web — it’s not going anywhere for the time being — but Inbox offers something more contemporary and experimental. (Meanwhile, Microsoft has been modernizing its Outlook email app, with features like Focused Inbox.)
While Inbox is all about the idea of marking things as done, it hasn’t been so easy to delete emails outright. That’s changing. You can now drag and drop contacts to and from the to, cc, and bcc fields when you’re composing emails in the Inbox web client.
And Google is letting Inbox users do more with the Google Drive cloud storage service without leaving the email app. Now it’s possible to add Drive links into emails, as well as to change permissions for links and save attachments to your Google Drive.
Now Google wants to unite with more third-party companies to improve the experience for Inbox users. “We are excited to work with more email senders directly over the coming months,” van As wrote. Many cloud services offer to send users notifications via email, and theoretically, they could be interested in working with Google in this fashion. But Google is not showing any outward signs of being concerned about getting too much inbound interest — van As made sure to note that companies can sign up here.
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