We are months away from the inevitable termination of Inbox, but the development team seems to be getting ready for that day well in advance. The latest update brings with it some of the preparations for making the switch back to Gmail. This includes removing the setting for blocking Gmail notifications, plus a couple of the messages that will be shown to users to direct them toward the right Google apps.

What's New

Unofficial Changelog: (the stuff we found)

  • No more blocking Gmail notifications

Gmail notifications will be coming back

 

Left: v1.77. Right: v1.78.

We'll begin with the one foreboding change that you can see today. Take a look at account settings on Inbox and you'll find that the option to turn off Gmail notifications has been quietly removed. As regular Inbox users know, this was a simple tool that prevented Gmail from posting notifications that would have been redundant to those from Inbox.

I don't believe this automatically turns Gmail notifications back on, but it will prevent them from being turned off by Inbox on newly set up phones. Of course, users can still manually turn off notifications on Gmail.

Teardown

Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android's application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information. It's possible that the guesses made here are wrong or inaccurate. Even when predictions are correct, there is always a chance that products could change or may be canceled. Much like rumors, nothing is certain until it's officially announced and released.

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. All screenshots and images are real unless otherwise stated, and images are only altered to remove personal information.

Countdown to the end

While we're all clearly aware that Inbox is going away, not all Inbox users are blessed with the great looks and intelligence of Android Police readers. Those poor souls will remain blissfully in the dark until the end of Inbox is a bit closer, at which point the app will be showing them a message to let them know the news.

The messaging is pretty brief, stating only that the app will be going away soon, or if the cutoff date has already been met, that the app is no longer available. It goes on to explain that "your favorite Inbox features" are in the Gmail app. (Ryne disagrees with that claim.) And at the bottom is a button to open the Gmail app.

<string name="bt_switch_activity_count_down_backup_title">This app will be going away soon</string>
<string name="bt_switch_activity_count_down_today">This app will be going away today</string>
<string name="bt_switch_activity_final_title">This app is no longer available</string>
<string name="bt_switch_activity_description">You can find your favorite Inbox features in the Gmail app. Your messages are already waiting for you.</string>
<string name="bt_switch_activity_not_now_option">Not Now</string>
<string name="bt_switch_activity_open_gmail_option">Open Gmail</string><activity android:name="com.google.android.apps.bigtop.activities.SwitchActivity" android:exported="false" android:label="@string/bt_empty_string" android:theme="@style/bt_BigTopAppTheme.SwitchActivity" />

It almost feels a little like taunting, but there will also be a countdown timer to let users know exactly how long they have until the end. I wonder if Google+ will get the same treatment?

<plurals name="bt_switch_activity_count_down_title">
<item>This app will be going away in %1$d days</item>
<item>This app will be going away in %1$d day</item>
</plurals>

Don't forget Google Tasks

Contrary to the claim that all of your favorite features are in Gmail, at least one thing appears to be going elsewhere: Tasks. Many people loved the way Inbox treated messages as if they were tasks to be completed, and it seems as if that ideology will not be making the transition to Gmail. Instead, Inbox will be sending users to the Google Tasks app to solve that particular need.

<string name="bt_promote_tasks_final_stage_title">Use the Google Tasks app</string>
<string name="bt_promote_tasks_final_stage_message">Inbox no longer supports creating reminders. Use Google Tasks to keep track of the things you need to get done.</string>
<string name="bt_promote_tasks_intermediate_stage_title">Try the new Google Tasks app</string>
<string name="bt_promote_tasks_intermediate_stage_message">Keep track of the things you need to get done.</string>
<string name="bt_promote_tasks_get_tasks_option">Get the app</string>
<string name="bt_promote_tasks_maybe_later_option">Maybe later</string>
<string name="bt_promote_tasks_open_tasks_option">Open Tasks</string>

Alright, I'm not going to pretend Inbox users are going to be happy with this, and in truth, I expect some of this will likely set off a few rants... So proceed to the comment section below and vent some of that anger. It's cool, we understand.

Download

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.

Inbox by Gmail
Inbox by Gmail
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free