Gmail and Google Now conspire to streamline your Inbox

Google is trying to reinvent email with a new mobile and web app called Inbox. This "fresh start" seems primarily geared toward streamlining the experience by using Google's information-gathering prowess—and access to email contents—to present a series of simplified previews populated with relevant details. Images and attachments are highlighted by the feed-like interface, which also provides map, package tracking, and flight check-in shortcuts, among other useful links.

Integrated intelligence organizes the feed into "bundles" of related messages based on user-defined parameters and popular categories like travel, purchases, and promotions. A to-do list is part of the interface, too. Users can add reminders right at the top of the feed, and Inbox will try to tack on useful information to those items.

Inbox looks like the love child of Gmail and Google Now, and I like the idea. However, the stripped-down interface seems like it might be a better fit for mobile devices than desktop browsers.

I'd check out Inbox myself, but it isn't available to everyone yet. Interested Gmail users need to email to request an invite. There's no information on how many invites will be doled out or how soon Inbox could be opened up for everyone.

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