With over 400 million users worldwide, Gmail is very popular and they’re hoping to keep that popularity growing by adding some new features to the inbox. One of them, I discovered quite by accident, when I hit the drop-down folder menu option to more an e-mail from one of our dedicated writers into a file. Suddenly there were four options, I’d never seen before and couldn’t recall adding.
Turns out Gmail is now auto sorting your mail with some new algorithms the company hopes will take care of spam. Your inbox will be split into four categories.
Your messages will be sorted into:
Primary: Person to person communications. A message between you and Bob or you and Mom.
Social: Messages from Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, online dating sites, media sharing sites and other social entities.
Promotions: Deals, offers and marketing e-mails.
Updates: Confirmations, receipts, bills, statements and calendar notices.
Forums: Messages from online groups, discussion boards and mailing lists.
Google is updating the look of the inbox and when you receive the update, you’ll see those categories as tabs across the top of your Inbox:
Judging from the comments on Google’s blog post about the changes, some users that have the updates are just loving it while others, don’t like the company making those sorting decisions for them. The changes will also be coming to the Android 4.0 and iPhone and iPad apps. Here’s what the Android app will look like:
If you’d prefer to opt out of displaying some or all of the new tabs, click the gear symbol at the right of your inbox and select Configure Inbox.
A window will pop up that will allow you to select which tabs you’d care to view. Categories that have no tab will appear in your primary inbox.
E-mail clients and services keep continually adding new features for ease of use, but I’m one of those grumpy old souls that often feels that they have so many features that it’s easy to get lost when trying to perform the simplest of task. What about you? Do you find features like this convenient or would you prefer to sort your own e-mail?