Formally known as Inbox by Gmail, Inbox has forever been the odd beast among email services. Made by the people who developed and run Gmail, Inbox has never threatened to replace it, at least not yet.
Instead, it wants to improve the way we write our emails. Since not a lot of people use Inbox, this might be a rather courageous ambition. But if you’ve ever been in the position of having to reply quickly to an email, Smart Replies is the feature you need.
For those who still use email traditionally, replying traditionally is a given. But with the help of the feature that has now made it on desktop, at least, you can be, well, smart about it.
People using Inbox on their smartphones are probably already familiar with the feature released November last year. In hopes that it will help users sent quicker emails to pressing matter, Smart Reply was designed to provide three suggestions for canned replies.
“I’m working on it.” or “Thank you!” or “I’ll be there in 5 minutes” (and more of the sort) are some of the phrases that can be used as they are or at the beginning of a longer email.
Inbox has never been that great, but it hopes the new feature will be a springboard to attracting more users to the service. With the same purpose, Inbox has landed on web interface today.
Replying to emails doesn’t have to disrupt your tasks or projects – that’s what Inbox is trying to get users to understand. Whether you’re on your smartphone or at the PC, fire off that quick reply and get back to your work in a matter of few seconds.
Google’s reports show that ever since it was launched in November, approximately 10 percent of the replies sent from Inbox’s mobile app have been compiled using the feature. That’s neither encouraging nor discouraging, failing to prove if Smart Replies is actually useful.
Regardless of how convenient they might be, these replies are pretty much out of your control. The suggestions provided to the users are based on Inbox’s recognition of the e-mail and natural language processing, which could raise some red flags among privacy-conscious users.
All you can do is help improve the suggestions you receive by using or dismissing certain responses. Inbox hopes to learn faster which canned replies you prefer.
Smart Replies is rolling out to most Inbox users gradually, so all you have to do is wait for the update to reach you – you don’t have to install or download anything.
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