Google Inbox lacks business features

Google has unveiled the Inbox app this week in its aim to streamline the email experience, but despite new functionality, the current iteration is missing key features that would tie over business users.

Introduced on Wednesday, Inbox is currently an invite-only email platform that offers an alternative to Gmail.

Its highly touted features include more customizable message sorting, a snooze and reminder function for emails and tasks, and the ability to highlight and pull important information from the web.

Yet despite these new features, early reports indicate that the current version of Inbox lacks components that would allow for business application.

“At this time Inbox won’t be available to Google for Work Apps customers,” said Jennifer Kaiser, senior associate at Google Canada in an email.

Unlike the Gmail platform, which allows for enterprise and non-Google email integration, Inbox has no such option out of the box, according to Mashable.  This would be especially problematic to companies paying for Google Apps to provide their email services.

Similarly, companies relying on Google Calendar will find that Inbox does not offer the level of integration that Gmail has, and has a rather simplified to-do function.  According to Ars Technica, there is no option in Inbox at this time to see weekly or monthly reminders, and appointments do not export to Google Calendar.

“Inbox is not ready for businesses yet,” said Wendy Bairos, communications and public affairs manager at Google Canada in an email.  She explained that it is not covered under the Google Apps service-level agreement or 24/7 support.

“Right now, we are focusing on developing Inbox in the context of consumer Gmail accounts,” she said.


Google’s official product announcement and invite system fall in line with the company’s past attempts to revolutionize email.

The company’s last experiment, Google Wave, failed to capture an audience in 2009 despite promising to consolidate email, instant messaging, blogging and more, and was discontinued a year after its launch.

This time, Inbox will draw on a host of new features to improve overall work flow.  Users will be able to hit snooze on important messages to reappear as unread in the inbox.  Likewise, they can add smart reminders which recognize names and places to pull additional information from the web, such as flight times, phone numbers and addresses.  Furthermore, the app expands upon the “primary,” “social,” and “promotions” categories introduced in Gmail last year to allow for more customized message bundling.

Those interested in getting an invite are asked to email Google directly at [email protected].

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Dave Yin
Dave Yin
Digital Staff Writer at Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel.

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