Are we witnessing a new feature war in the world of webmail?
Google this morning unveiled an overhauled version of the Gmail inbox, with tabs at the top to filter out messages from social networks, daily deals and promotions. This is know the industry as “graymail” because it isn’t quite spam but also isn’t as critical as many other messages people receive.
The move follows Microsoft’s launch of Outlook.com, which comes with a feature that automatically sorts social updates, newsletters and other forms of graymail. Outlook.com replaced Microsoft Hotmail, and Microsoft said at the beginning this month that Outlook.com had reached 400 million users.
Google says the new Gmail will roll out on desktop, Android and iOS within the next few weeks. The tabs are customizable and movable, and users will be able to turn them off altogether if they prefer. Here’s a Google video showing the new features.