App Review: Gmail vs Inbox

Gmail vs Inbox

An app that took me a while to fall in love with, Gmail Inbox, is sunsetting in March 2019. (Only the good apps die young?) With the creation of Reminders, a feature for recurring tasks that integrates seamlessly into Gmail, I fell head over heels for Inbox. (I didn’t have much use for Inbox before Reminders.)

Reminders are mainly a feature of Google Calendar, but I loved the way it worked into Inbox, keeping me on my toes for daily emails and daily tasks. Google, for some reason, doesn’t have a dedicated app for Reminders, which I can only imagine are a popular feature (I think I’d die without Google Reminders), and it doesn’t seem to translate into Google Keep’s “Reminders” feature. (If anyone has this figured out, let me know.)

Apparently, the new Gmail, supposedly fueled by the best of Inbox’s features, now has a smart reply (suggesting complete thoughts before you even type them) and a snooze function if you want to treat your emails like tasks.

The one upgrade that I do like with the new Gmail app is the “All Inboxes” feature. I can view all my emails across all the Gmail accounts I have connected without having to switch back and forth between accounts. Inbox does NOT have this feature so Google has successfully converted me into using their revamped Gmail app.

The great thing about Inbox was that it became easy, and almost satisfying, to try and keep your inbox clean. Once you were done with an email, pressing a satisfying green check mark made you feel as though you had accomplished something. Hitting snooze helped put it out of sight temporarily to come back to later. “Pins” acted as Gmail’s “Star” function, keeping important emails or reminders top-of-mind.

As with all the amazing programs Google has killed, I will re-adapt to using the Gmail app. My only hope is that Google finds a way to integrate the Reminders feature into other programs outside Google Calendar. I figure Google Keep is the most intuitive program, but right now, I’m stuck with the dilemma of Google Calendar Reminders being totally different than Google Keep Reminders, and my friends, this should not be.

I will save my rant about the inferior Google Tasks for another day.

Today’s rant is about Google.

Google is killing off Inbox, one of the best apps they’ve ever made. Google insists that they’ve taken the “best” on Inbox and incorporated it into the regular Gmail app. The auto-prediction of text is nice. BUT one of the things I LOVE Google Inbox for is its integration of mail and reminders. (Tasks apparently are a different thing so they shall not be named.)

All at one glance—in one app—I can view my email and the things I need to do for the day or anything that is overdue. That feature was not incorporated into the regular Gmail app. It’s like Google decided that reminders weren’t a worthwhile feature so they’re relegating it only to their horrible and cumbersome Google Calendar app.

Google has killed so many popular and useful programs—Google Reader and now Inbox coming to mind. HOWEVER, they seem to want to retain the socially deceased Google+, which should have gone the way of the Dodo several years ago.

Google has a history of axing features that users like but could be incorporated into other things to generate revenue. Don’t think that some of the features and programs Google has “sunset” might not have brought in a pretty penny if there were a premium charge. (I, for one, would pay quite a bit to have my Reader dashboard back.) I’d also like the option of PAYING to keep Inbox going so I don’t have to revert to the crappy Gmail app that doesn’t have the features I currently LOVE in Inbox.

So that’s my rant. So many Google programs, so few lovely features that stick around. I suppose all good things must come to an end. (I hope that doesn’t mean my Gmail account one day.) #soapboxSaturday