Gmail for iOS and desktop getting overhauled, aims to put you back in control

Google's Gmail is the next service from Mountain View to go through an overhaul, and today they're showing off what is rolling out across the desktop and to iOS. The aim; to give back control of your inbox to you.

In the desktop environment, all your mail will be organized into categories, all you need to do is dictate what they're going to be. At the top of your inbox, these categories will appear as tabs, with even the opportunity to drag and drop messages between them. On iOS you'll see your main, primary inbox when you fire up Gmail, but all the same categories will be accessible via the slide out menu.

For heavy Gmail users this is great news. We've had apps on iOS such as Mailbox that have come about to help you wrestle back control of your Gmail inbox, but the effort ultimately needed to come from Google. The iOS Gmail app is pretty good, but the desktop experience as it currently stands can be a chaotic environment, so any help is good help. The new inbox will roll out to everyone 'gradually', with an update to the iOS app due in the coming weeks. Is this likely to make you revert back to using Google's own apps to manage your Gmail?

Source: Google

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Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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Reader comments

Gmail for iOS and desktop getting overhauled, aims to put you back in control


"Is this likely to make you revert back to using Google's own apps to manage your Gmail?"

I actually use a mix of mailbox and the gmail app depending on what i need to do.

I love my new iPhone 5 but IMO Google has the best damn apps. Can not do without them. If only IOS would do something with their lousy video playback. Sick of the buffering in their apps. I have very fast data speeds, sick fast, and still buffering. Come on developers do something.

Gmail is getting more and more bloated IMO. I love the simplicity of the old Gmail even though many of these extra features can be turned off. I prefer iCloud for couple reasons: the simplicity of the old Gmail and adhering to the IMAP standards (critical for my work).

Nowadays, my Gmail just forwards to my iCloud address. This overhaul - and other "features" like it - is what drove me off Gmail.

I hope this feature can be switched off, like the automatic "Important" marker I never use. I already have my own category labels and filters and don't want Google to decide for me what should go where, like Facebook. Both Google and FB tend to guess wrong more often than right in my experience, so instead of being helpful it creates extra work.

As for iOS, I prefer the Apple mail app as it's faster and better looking than the Gmail app, which seems to be just a web wrapper (the curse of Google apps generally). That said, if Mailbox allowed me to archive mail according to my existing categories, not just its own lists, and had support for aliases then I'd use Mailbox for everything. I hope the new Gmail categories won't interfere with Mailbox.

Yes for me I will try it and I must say that I think Google is booming with software innovations. I would use Chrome but I am in love with the Reader function of Safari. Is there a Reader function for Chrome?