Google has a new tool called Inbox.  It sits on top of your Gmail account, lets you see your mail in a different way, and offers different tools.

As my friend (whom I have never met) Dave Farquhar says, “You’re either going to read the next sentence or you aren’t.

There are advantages to Inbox.  One of the subtle ones is that this is a new product from Google.  It’s where all the kids want to go play.  Old apps from Google have a tendency, like old toys, to be left behind and discarded.  Inbox also bundles similar emails, displays pictures and details within the app (instead of within the email), letting you open attachments directly.  You can set reminders for yourself.  You can pin emails so they are visible.

There are disadvantages, also.  You can’t directly see starred emails that you had set up in Gmail.  yes, you can search for “in:starred” and see them.  Not the same as a one-click.  I guess the pinning replaces the functionality, but it doesn’t replace the stars you had in place.  Same for spam – no single-click, but rather “in:spam”.  I like going through my spam (not the content, just the headings) to see if Google places anything in the wrong place.  I see about one a month that’s falsely labeled spam.  I don’t want to miss that one.

Finally, the sticker, and the one thing that caused me to write this post.  Gmail allows you to paste pictures in-line.  Inbox requires you to attach pictures, so they have to be files.  Terrible for screen shots.  I want to copy (using my still-favorite Greenshot) and paste right now.  I don’t want to have to go through the steps of saving a file and then importing it.  I want frictionless pictures in email, and Inbox doesn’t (yet) have the ability.

Of course, Google is tweaking and updating their programs daily, so there’s hope.