Inbox vs. Gmail 5.0 Which One is Right for You?

BY GreenBot Staff

Published 11 Nov 2014

First, when you were convinced to wave farewell to the Gmail app, move on to Inbox, and turn around and overhaul Gmail. Version 5.0 of Gmail for Android doesn’t just paint over everything with a Material Design brush, although it does. It makes the app an all-in-one email hub for your phone by supporting more than just Gmail. You can now get IMAIL, Yahoo, and Exchange mail in the Gmail app.
The new Gmail app looks better and is more capable, but it doesn’t attempt to change how you use email as Inbox does.All use email in different ways for different reasons. So, which is best for you: Gmail or Inbox?

On the Inbox, Algorithms make a Clean Sweep

Inbox is for those who look for a bit of help getting organized. You don’t want to mess with labels, rules, or folders or stay in your Inbox longer than needed. You want the app to do the heavy lifting and let you get back to Disco Zoo.

Inbox bundles messages, making it easier to spot what you’re looking for.

Let’s say you get an email from your credit card company about paying that monthly bill. Inbox smartly bundles it with other money-sucking messages so you can deal with them all at once. You can swipe them away to the archive or snooze them for a time or location. Snooze deals with those messages where you have to reply or do some task with them but gets them out of the way so they don’t clog your Inbox.

It has some rather interesting auto-suggest ideas for which companies need a reprint.

Inbox also syncs with your Now reminders and uses auto-suggest sometimes cleverly to make it fast and easy to create a new reminder. It turns your Inbox into an actual to-do list, which your Gmail has probably become anyway. Inbox is also quicker to navigate, as scrolling past the bottom of an email will pop you back up to the folder you were in.

Bundling is something you’ll either love or hate, although you can turn it off for specific messages. It’s consumer-centric; labels are built for finance, travel, or social updates. When Inbox gains support for Apps and would be interesting to see other bundles for business-type uses included.

Stick to Your System with Gmail

Gmail is still Gmail, which may be just what you want. Version 5.0 paints the app with the same Material Design brush, making Gmail your all-in-one email hub. Microsoft Exchange, Yahoo, Outlook.com, IMAIL, can be used.

                                                                                Quickly label other sections used to finding in the new Gmail app.

It’s glorious if you have an Exchange or other account you need to maintain. In the past, you had to use the not-so-great stock Email app on Android or get a third-party alternative from the Play Store. Now it can be all Gmail, all the time. Maybe the web version of Gmail could do the same.

Gmail is also better for those who permanently delete everything. These days, archiving is probably the better option. Still, some people can’t give up forever deleting emails they suppose they won’t need anymore. I’ve had difficulty breaking the habit myself, as I’m quite the minimalist, always on the hunt for natural and imagined clutter. There’s also the idea that if I’m looking for a past hotel reservation, I don’t want to have 1,000 results for “Hyatt” when doing a Gmail search.

It’s Gmail; it’s reconfigured with Material Design.

But with how much storage space you get, there’s no need to delete email unless the message is an argument or something else you don’t want hanging out on servers. But if you feel strongly about this, Gmail still puts the trash can icon front and center or lets you adjust the swipe gesture to delete instead of the archive. No such option exists with Inbox.
So, those Gmail labels you know and love are just one swipe away. It’s something I rely on, with brands for “assignments” and “invoices” as they’re critical parts of my freelance writing life. The compromise with Inbox is to turn them into a bundle, but they’re grayed out and forced beneath the list of default Inbox bundles.

There’s Always the Compromise and Use both!

Who says you have to choose? You could constantly juggle the two, using Inbox for sorting, sleeping, and setting reminders while jumping into Gmail when needed.

It will be interesting to watch how Inbox evolves. If it tweaks the app with specific features for App users, it could get more work-friendly bundles or some of the other tweaks we would like to see. These changes would make it hard not to completely break into Inbox.

Supporting both apps feels like the right approach for now. It reduces the temptation to leap to Mailbox or other competitors and keeps Gmail die-hards happy. March 2019, saw Inbox integrated with Gmail.