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Google Inbox

Email service from Google

General Information
Category
Productivity
Country
United States
Started
In 2014
Business Failure
Business Outcome
Shut Down
Closed
By 2019
Cause of Failure
Multiple Reasons
Founders & Employees
Number of Founders
One
Name of Founders
Google
Number of Employees
More Than 10000
Funding
Number of Funding Rounds
Nothing
Total Funding Amount
-
Number of Investors
Nothing
Description
Cause of Failure

Why was Google Inbox discontinued?

To the surprise of all Google Inbox users, Google decided to shut down the application in March 2019, generating a lot of discussions and anger on the decision.

Google Inbox Origins

Back in 2014, Google did something unexpected: they launched a new email app called Inbox.

It was basically a Gmail alternative, that worked with the user’s existing Gmail address. However, it was designed around a completely different philosophy about what email is and how to manage it.

Google Inbox UX

Google Inbox Features

  • Reminders: It was a fast way to create small notes and mail frequently contacted people. It also worked along with a feature called “Assist” which brought some Siri functionalities into the user’s to-do list. For example, if the user turned an email into a reminder to “Book this hotel”, Assist would find the phone number of the hotel and add it to the user’s reminder.
  • Pinning: It allowed the user to stick a reminder or an email at the top of the inbox, for easier access and reference.
  • Bundles: It grouped related emails (like bank statements, for example) together. This allowed the user to dismiss the whole group or sort through it and just keep what it wanted. Many users particularly liked this feature for traveling, as it grouped all the tickets and information related to the trip.
  • UX: It looked simple and it was designed with a focus on the mobile experience. Gmail, instead, contained many more add-on icons and widgets, that made the interface confusing for many.

It’s not a surprise that many people loved the app. A Hacker News user mentioned: “Inbox changed my relationship with email and it is unbelievably frustrating to hear it is being shuttered. I was a better digital person because of the app: I never forgot to reply, I kept years of ideas and small notes in reminders, and I could quickly triage and clear all incoming mail.”

Why Was It Discontinued?

The app was discontinued at the end of March 2019.

Google Inbox Discontinued

In April of the previous year, Google had launched a re-designed Gmail, with many new features. According to Google product manager Matthew Izatt, the company was looking for a “more focused approach” to email, which probably led them to focusing on Gmail rather than Inbox.

What most journalists claim is that the Inbox app became unnecessary, up to Google’s decision-makers’ view, and they decided to stick to Gmail.

Google Inbox Alternatives

Spark, Spike and Newton were three of the apps many Google Inbox fans decided to move to. Many others, probably reluctantly, moved on to Gmail, where they probably missed for a long time Google Inbox special features.

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Flowtab

Mobile app to order drinks on nightclubs

Food and Beverage
Shut Down
-
Bad Business Model
Food and Beverage
United States
In 2011
By 2013
One
Between 51 And 100
Nothing
Bad Business Model
Shut Down
Auctionata

Online auction platform for art & luxury

e-Commerce
Shut Down
$95.5M
Legal Challenges
e-Commerce
Germany
In 2012
By 2017
Four
Between 251 And 500
More Than 50M
Legal Challenges
Shut Down
Dinner Lab

Membership-based social dining experiment

Food and Beverage
Shut Down
$9.1M
Bad Business Model
Food and Beverage
United States
In 2011
By 2016
Three
Between 11 And 50
Between 1M 10M
Bad Business Model
Shut Down
HotelsAroundYou

Booking of same-day hotel rooms

Travel
Shut Down
$125.4K
Competition
Travel
India
In 2013
By 2017
Three
Between 1 And 10
Less Than 1M
Competition
Shut Down
Lookery

Demographic marketing services in social networks

Marketing
Acquired
$3.2M
Dependence on Others
Marketing
United States
In 2007
By 2009
Three
Between 1 And 10
Between 1M 10M
Dependence on Others
Acquired
Lumos

Internet of things startup on switching technology

Software and Hardware
Shut Down
No Data
Lack of Experience
Software and Hardware
India
In 2014
By 2015
Three
Between 1 And 10
No Data
Lack of Experience
Shut Down
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