Everybody tackles email in their own way. Some people want to deal with every message that rolls in while others only really care about a couple of key messages. But it's not just about which messages you're going to look at, timing can also matter quite a bit. Many of us can get away with checking our mail when it's convenient, but we still need to know if something truly urgent shows up. In its interminable quest to cut down on noise, Inbox is going to give users an option to cut notifications down to just the most important.
The features discussed below are probably not live yet, or may only be live for a small percentage of users. Unless stated otherwise, don't expect to see these features if you install the apk.
High priority notifications
If you peek into the current version of Inbox, you'll notice the Notifications section includes an option to switch notifications on and off, and to control how they present through the OS (e.g. vibration, flash the notification LED, and a sound). A new option titled Notification Level will be added here with options to get notifications for all incoming mail, or keep quiet until an "important" email arrives.
The details of what exactly makes an email important are unclear, which is typical of these smarter, learning-based features. Of course, Gmail is usually pretty good at figuring out which messages deserve more attention, so the accuracy should look pretty good when this launches.
My immediate question is about how much more restrictive these high priority notifications will be. I feel like I'm already getting a pretty limited number of notifications from Inbox, especially compared to Gmail. (Yes, I leave both active so I can watch for changes.) It's hard to imagine the frequency of notifications dropping even more. Alternatively, it's possible Inbox already operates in high priority mode and the settings will allow users to switch on a firehose of notifications.
Another concern strikes me, but I'm not sure if it's that critical. I'm curious if there will be reminder notifications to get people to look at their less urgent mail. Even if they're added silently and marked as low-priority to keep them from the top of the list, it seems important to prompt users to look occasionally. Without something like that, Inbox may lull people into ignoring non-urgent messages that still require some attention.
<string name="bt_high_priority_notifications_promo_title">Try high priority notifications</string>
<string name="bt_high_priority_notifications_promo_description">You'll only be notified when important emails arrive in your inbox.</string>
<string name="bt_high_priority_notifications_promo_label">Inbox Tip</string>
<string name="bt_notification_level_preference_title">Notification level</string>
<string name="bt_notification_level_all_subtext">Notify me about all emails, unless otherwise specified by their label</string>
<string name="bt_notification_level_high_priority_text">High priority only</string>
<string name="bt_notification_level_high_priority_subtext">Notify me about my most important emails</string>
<string name="bt_high_priority_notifications_promo_button_yes">Turn on</string>
<string name="bt_high_priority_notifications_turned_on">High priority notifications turned on</string>
This could prove to be a very interesting feature, but each user will probably have to try it out to determine if it's a good thing for their needs.
The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.