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googleinbox1Sorting through hundreds of emails and picking out what’s important can be a real pain, and now Google has built a tool to help fix that problem.

The company today unveiled “Inbox,” a new app for iOS and Android that also works on the web and is a “completely different type of inbox, designed to focus on what really matters.”

The app aims to reduce the amount of time people spend with email and highlight important information. Similar to the existing “Social” and “Promotions” tab in Gmail, the app takes it one step further and groups together emails that share a common subject — purchase receipts or bank statements, for example. Users can configure the app to group specific types of emails that they want organized together.

“Inbox” also has a feature called “highlights,” which surfaces information like flight itineraries, event info, and photos when scrolling through your list of emails. For example, you can swipe through pictures of a recent trip that your friend attached to an email without having to open the actual email. You can see this in the screenshot to the right.

In addition, the app also acts as a to-do list. You can set reminders directly within the app and it will provide extra information — called “assists” — related to your reminders.

“For example, if you write a Reminder to call the hardware store, Inbox will supply the store’s phone number and tell you if it’s open,” Google notes in a blog post. “Assists work for your email, too. If you make a restaurant reservation online, Inbox adds a map to your confirmation email. Book a flight online, and Inbox gives a link to check-in.”

While “Inbox” is offered as an alternative to Gmail, which has been around for a decade, it would not be surprising to see Google push this as the de-facto way for users to access their email.

Google explains the features of “Inbox” here, and in the video below. If you want to give the app a try, email inbox@google.com for an invite.

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