May 29, 2013— -- Google is about to make some big changes to its popular Gmail that will make it easier to sort email. Today the search giant announced a new style and some additional features, which are set to roll out soon.
Android, iOS, and desktop users will be treated to a new inbox feature that offers automatic organization of incoming mail into groups.
The "Primary" category will contain messages from friends and family, as well as any other messages that don't appear in other tabs. Another tab called "Social" will automatically contain notifications and messages from social networks sites, like your Facebook notifications or Twitter follower alerts. The "Promotions" group will capture deals, offers and promotions from places like shopping or coupon websites.
Bills, receipts, and confirmation emails will be organized into the "Updates" group, and messages from online groups, discussion boards and mailing lists will appear in the "Forums" group.
The inbox organization groups are optional, and a user can choose which of the five categories, if any, they want to use.
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But Google isn't the first to have automatic sorting features. Microsoft and other e-mail add-ons have offered similar features. Microsoft's Outlook.com has a feature called Sweep, which sweeps messages based on their categories into their own folders. Other e-mail apps like Sanebox and Unroll.me have similar sorting features.
Google, however, is bringing its features not just to the web. Users of the Gmail Android or iOS apps will see their Primary inbox tab upon opening the app, but Google has made accessing the other inbox groups easier with swipe gestures and large labels.
The new inbox features will roll out over the next few weeks, but if you can't wait, Google says be on the lookout for it in the Gmail settings menu. You will be able to enable it yourself.