By Heather kelly
(CNN) – How do you solve a problem like email?
Google’s Gmail team thinks they know how: with a new app called Inbox.
Inbox, released Wednesday, offers a different way to handle the daily flood of emails. Having been specifically created with mobile users in mind, the app classifies and converts emails into reminders, highlights the important parts, and adds external information that it creates may prove useful.
Even now that people turn to other tools to communicate quickly from their phones (messaging apps, social media, text messages), email remains an invaluable, albeit sometimes infuriating, way to communicate on mobile devices. You can filter out unwanted content, which Gmail does very well, but there is still a huge volume of legitimate emails you have to deal with.
Many companies have made an attempt to improve the email experience. Gmail recently started categorizing emails automatically, by putting them on different tabs in your inbox, such as social, promotions, and updates.
Mailbox, the popular third-party app, uses folders and gestures to make sorting emails easier. That company was acquired by Dropbox. Inbox seems to be heavily influenced by Mailbox’s approach of saving time and focusing on messages (not to mention your name). It also takes some cool features from Google Now.
Inbox works by bundling similar messages, such as invoices, into what Google calls “Bundles.” You can schedule a grouping to only display at specific intervals, for example once a week. There is no need to read all the words in an email just to get to the important parts. Inbox will highlight what you create – it’s the key parts of an email, like contact information, confirmation numbers, or photos.
It also takes advantage of Google for related information, in order to save you a trip to the search engine. For example, if you create a reminder to call your dog’s groomer, the business’s contact information will automatically appear.
You can turn messages into reminders, silence reminders, and mark important emails while deleting the rest.
Inbox currently only works by invitation. It is available as an app for iOS and Android, and as a desktop view (for Chrome browser users only).