Print 19 comment(s) - last by Wolfpup.. on Jun 3 at 8:51 PM

Users can have up to five categorized tabs

Google is making the process of checking email a little less painful with a new tab-style inbox for Gmail

Itamar Gilad, Product Manager at Google, announced the new method of sorting emails today. It allows users to separate incoming emails into as many as five different tabs according to categories.

Some of the categories include social, where emails from Facebook and Twitter belong; promotions, where the Groupon and LivingSocial emails would go; updates, where emails like confirmations, bills and statements would be sent, and forums, where forum discussion emails belong. 

The user still has a primary inbox for all emails that don't fall into those categories. The idea is to help users find important emails or those from friends/family quicker than sifting through one, cluttered inbox.

To get the new tab-style inbox, click the gear icon in Gmail on your desktop/laptop and choose "configure inbox." From there you choose which of the tabs you'd like to appear in your inbox and Gmail will sort them for you. 
The tabs receive live notification updates that appear in the tab’s title bar.

Tabs can be configured in the Android app as well, which will be available in the next couple of days. An iOS app is "coming soon," according to Google. 

"It became obvious to us over time that this notion that the inbox was more of your master than your servant was becoming more widespread," said Alex Gawley, product manager for Gmail. "It wasn’t just the people receiving hundreds of emails a day — more regular users were starting to feel stressed out by their inbox.
"We thought, this might be a really interesting way for us to help regular users take control of their inbox again."

Source: Official Gmail Blog

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Not so bad...
By DNAgent on 5/30/2013 7:34:55 AM , Rating: 2
Just tried it out and it seems to be implemented fairly well. It also points out that you can return to your old inbox at any time by disabling all of the tabs.

The one feature I would like to see is customization of the tab categories, which doesn't seem to be possible at the moment.

RE: Not so bad...
By theapparition on 5/30/2013 9:56:03 AM , Rating: 2
I like the tab features.

Now if they would just let me manually choose which emails aren't spam, instead of supposedly learning.

I'm tired of checking it weekly and having to relabel many of the items that dropped in there by mistake. Overall, it does a great job. Just frustrating that some important emails end up in the spam folder. And no matter how many times I relabel them, they still pop back. Maybe something like a trusted site.

Or am I missing something.

RE: Not so bad...
By abzillah on 5/30/2013 1:14:10 PM , Rating: 2
It would be cool if we could name and personalize the tabs. Like we could name the tab "Friends" and then have all emails from friends sent to that tab. We would have to choose which emails are friends and all emails from then on would go into that tab.

RE: Not so bad...
By euclidean on 5/30/2013 2:53:51 PM , Rating: 2
Take this a step further - Circles.

Even family members who are not on Google+ are located in my "Family Circle" as a contact. Why not create Tabs based on Circles similar to your news feed in Google+ that is also based on Circles?

I would soooo much enjoy that feature...and I did send feedback for that functionality.

By Wolfpup on 6/3/2013 8:51:04 PM , Rating: 2
...though the problem is I'd probably still be checking this stuff night and day lol...

Though having an automatic way to sort my real email from the endless stuff from stores that I don't quite want to unsubscribe from yet never do anything with...

change is not always good
By cashkennedy on 5/29/13, Rating: -1
RE: change is not always good
By txDrum on 5/29/2013 8:20:53 PM , Rating: 2
You realize the option to keep it in the classic/what it is now will still exist right?

RE: change is not always good
By inighthawki on 5/29/2013 8:27:50 PM , Rating: 3
Can't you still also opt to display the page in pure HTML, with no javascript/etc enabled?

RE: change is not always good
By tayb on 5/29/2013 8:28:57 PM , Rating: 2
The current UI was forced on users after they eventually stopped supporting the old style. I see no reason to think history won't repeat itself here.

RE: change is not always good
By SDBud on 5/30/2013 3:18:04 AM , Rating: 2

EXACTLY. If Gmail DOESN'T force users to adopt the change, it would be the FIRST time.

I NEVER use the web any more, since they royally screwed up replying.

RE: change is not always good
By BRB29 on 5/30/2013 8:39:26 AM , Rating: 1
If Gmail DOESN'T force users to adopt the change, it would be the FIRST time.

You still have the option for classic. You can disable most of the new features in labs/settings.
Gmail doesn't force users to use gmail either. There's so many alternative email services out there. Can I remind you that it's free?

Reply works great for most people. I only heard complaints from people that was confused at first.

I NEVER use the web any more, since they royally screwed up replying

you don't use the web because gmail screwed up replying? I'm having a hard time connecting those 2.

RE: change is not always good
By cashkennedy on 5/30/2013 12:39:00 PM , Rating: 1
Wow im pretty sure brb29 is some google employee. Im glad to see some other people agree with me that all the most recent changes have been "forced" unless you want to go to a piece of shit html version that is worse then the original gmail years and years ago. Plus im pretty sure youd have to select that html version on every computer / every time you log on, and Who got time for that? Luckily the gmail app for windows phone is written by Microsoft / so much easier to use.

And yes gmail is free, so you can switch, but switching emails isn't exactly the most fun / or instant process. I don't hold google accountable, but doesn't mean there's no inconvenience to having to switch cause they have tried to change it from its roots.

RE: change is not always good
By bug77 on 5/30/2013 4:34:17 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. The current interface is so cluttered and hard to navigate... Btw, are you still using that clutter free OS, MS-DOS?

RE: change is not always good
By BRB29 on 5/30/2013 8:44:35 AM , Rating: 2
Gmail works just like any other email besides looking different. I actually liked it more than yahoo and hotmail. The changes made in the recent years just integrate more things into it. It caused more buttons and links so they try to simplify the interface by hidden pop up menus, drop down menus, etc... You just need to adapt. You can customize it to make it even more basic by disable many menus and features in labs and settings.

If anyone's email is cluttered, it's their fault for click and subscribing to dumb websites to "win a free ipad!"

RE: change is not always good
By bug77 on 5/30/2013 8:59:09 AM , Rating: 2
I was being sarcastic, in case it wasn't blatantly obvious.

I mean, come on, it gmail supposed to be just one giant inbox? Because that would be the simplest of interfaces.

RE: change is not always good
By BRB29 on 5/30/2013 9:44:32 AM , Rating: 2
Not mine. I set it up to automatically label and archive.

I, and most of my friends, use gmail as our gateway to Gdrive, Googledocs, calendars, etc... Since everything can be shared by specific file, folder, events, docs, etc... and different levels of access.

It makes perfect sense why email shouldn't be a giant inbox anymore.

For example, we share an excel spreadsheet of pick up basketball schedule to see who's going.
We share a school final research project between 5 people. Everyone can make changes at the same time.
We use google hangout to give presentations and tutorials because you can set it to display your desktops to everyone.

Email itself is used less. It's more like your digital identity than for email itself.

RE: change is not always good
By bug77 on 5/30/2013 10:33:34 AM , Rating: 2
I use that label/archiving thing, too. And yet, the OP complains that it "distances gmail from its original "light"/simple interface". There's no way to provide the complexity of today's email functions into a 90s web UI. Or maybe it is, at the cost of several full-page refreshes just to send one email.

RE: change is not always good
By BRB29 on 5/30/2013 1:41:37 PM , Rating: 2
lol yes I remember my first email account. It was yahoomail and it was the best thing at the time. Then I realized how terrible it was. It was slow and more cluttered than the original gmail even though it had less features and functions.

RE: change is not always good
By Flunk on 5/30/2013 8:41:35 AM , Rating: 1
Change is also not automatically bad, how do you know that it's bad already before you've had time to try it out?

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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