Google is killing Inbox by Gmail. The company announced on Wednesday that it will shut down the experimental email service at the end of March 2019.
The news is not actually a surprise. There have long been speculations about the the uncertain future of the Inbox since Google launched the new Gmail earlier this year. Google rolled out a complete redesign of Gmail in April this year incorporating nearly off the key features of Inbox.
Inbox was launched in 2014 to serve as an experimental alternative interface to Gmail. It used the same account and showed the same data but in a special interface that brought many new ideas on how email could work.
The Verge wrote that the Inbox did not see enough updates but fans went through this just so they can have a better or a different email experience.
Over the years, Inbox became a testing ground for features that include the Smart Reply, which later made its way into Gmail. Inbox would automatically group emails into categories such as “Purchases” for receipts and “Updates” for shipping notifications. Users do not have to deal with emails right away with the help of the snooze feature. They can also pin important emails to the top of the inbox.
Inbox has pioneered many of the features that are now part of the new Gmail. There are still some features that have yet to make the migration from the Inbox, particularly the “bundles” feature that group similar emails into one single block, but Google said this is coming to Gmail.
Inbox was generally seen as a potential incubator for new email features that may be adapted by Gmail, but since much of its features have already been rubbed off on Gmail, Harry Mccracken of the Fast Company said that it should not come as a complete surprise that Google sees that that the Inbox has already served its purpose.
“I never got addicted to Inbox myself, but am still saddened by its demise,” Mccracken wrote. “Inbox enthusiasts—some of whom used the app precisely because it wasn’t Gmail—will take the news hard, even if Inbox’s influence on the current Gmail has been profound.”
Google said that it is making the change so it can focus solely on Gmail.
“As we look to the future, we want to take a more focused approach that will help us bring the best email experience to everyone,” Google said in a statement.