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Opinion: Google should fix its erratic reminder system

The ability to quickly set a reminder on your phone is one many of us take for granted these days. Smartphones have seemingly always had this basic PDA functionality. Type ‘add reminder’ into the Google search box and you’ll be able to quickly set up a notification to jog your memory about something later on. You can even use the ‘OK Google’ voice command: “remind me to pick up the groceries at 6pm,” for example. Easy-peasy.

For most people, this function is used occasionally for something really important they simply mustn't forget. And for those people, it probably works just fine.

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Weekend poll: Inbox or Gmail?

Google Inbox and Gmail have been competing for our hearts (and email) for some time now, and it doesn't seem like Google is slowing down development of either [great] app. Clearly, Gmail is for some, and Inbox for others - so which one are you?

I'm personally keeping one foot in both doors right now. I use Inbox for 100% of my personal email on both mobile and desktop, and I have zero inclination to go back. I also use Inbox for work email here at Android Police when I'm on the go. But on the desktop, AP email goes through a fairly fastidiously managed tabbed Gmail layout, something I'm not sure I could function without.

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High priority notifications in Inbox going live for some users

Inbox already does a great job of categorizing your email messages, but you still end up getting notifications for everything that comes in. In a recent teardown, we discovered that a new Inbox feature called 'High priority notifications' was in development. Now it seems to be going live - at least for some users.

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Inbox v1.43 prepares to give users more control over notification frequency by looking for high priority messages [APK Teardown]

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.

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Inbox v1.41 prepares to intelligently choose snippets from emails and allow sorting [APK Teardown]

The Gmail team put artificial intelligence to task with Inbox. Its usefulness as an email client is punctuated by how effective it is at organizing and determining the importance of incoming mail. Of course, there's always room to add more clever features, whether they are designed to cut down cognitive load or just save a couple taps. A teardown of the latest Inbox update reveals two more features are coming soon to do exactly that. The first is a simple button to sort your messages, and the second is an option that uses a little computer intelligence to pick the best text from each message to show in previews.

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[Update: Live for Exchange, not for Gmail] Gmail v7.1 adds tasks and snoozing for Exchange accounts [APK Download]

The latest major update to Gmail is beginning to roll out to users and this one looks like it might be fairly important to Exchange users. We're still looking for additional features, but this version does bring support for task management and syncing to Exchange accounts. As usual, we've got a download link at the bottom so you don't have to wait for the apk to roll out to your devices organically.

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Inbox's newest feature Templates inserts preset text snippets into emails

Email can be overwhelming, so it's useful to get someone else to manage it for you. Failing that, a computer should be able to take over the task. Google's Inbox has been doing this for a while now, with cool features like bundles, smart replies, digests and snoozing until later. A new feature, Templates, has just appeared in the web version of Inbox, which makes email even easier.

Templates are basically preset text snippets that can be inserted into emails. The user manages these and can create or delete a template. For example, if you want a custom signature, or some blurb about confidentiality when emailing an attachment, you could use a template for either.

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Inbox starts asking if you want to share the photo you just took

Google's Inbox email client aims to be more automated than Gmail. It bundles messages and suggests replies for you. Now, it's making it easier to attach photos to your emails. If you took a photo recently, new emails will get a handy link to add it as an attachment.

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Google is testing a new Inbox search UI, may be first indication of "virtual assistant"

Another day, another A/B test has come our way at Android Police. This time, Google is testing out a new Inbox search UI, replacing the dropdown search menu that's been ever-present since Inbox launched.

The UI shows three categories: contacts, businesses, and refinements. Contacts and businesses show people or companies that you regularly contact, while refinements highlights other options you may be likely to search for, such as 'sent emails from last week,' or 'attachments.' These are side-scrolling, with what looks like six options in each row, although it could be more. It's possible this is the first indication of the "Assistant" feature Cody unearthed in a recent teardown, but we can't really be sure.

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Inbox gains Trello, GitHub, and Google Alerts support

Inbox might be one of Google's most controversial products - some love the time-saving features and some hate them (such as our Glorious Leader, Artem). That's not going to stop the Inbox team from adding more productivity innovations though; new to Inbox this time is Trello, GitHub, and Google Alerts integration.

With Trello and GitHub integrations, it's pretty clear Google is angling at professionals like developers and designers with these additions. Both of them work like the other integrations, grouping and categorizing emails from the services into an easy to read list, which should reduce clutter in the inbox and improve readability.

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