As was rumoured, the Google Mail inbox is getting a new look on the desktop, iOS and Android.
The new inbox has been designed to help users organise their inbox into categories with horizontal tabs grouping similar content together instead of a vertical list of labels. Navigating between the tabs will show messages from that view, and, users are able to customise the new tabs to always show senders in a particular tab or for starred/important messages to always been shown in the primary
For mobile/tablet deices, the iOS and Android applications will now offer users access to present "Smart Labels" for categories including social, promotions and updates.
The Gmail redesign isn't revolutionary. It still looks like Gmail, and if you don't dig the tabbed situation, you don't have to use it. But for someone that hasn't meticulously set rule after rule ensuring emails are automagically sifted into appropriate folders as they arrive, the tabs are a big step towards achieving email sanity. And the update does appear to be an important stepping stone in Google getting more intelligent about understanding the different types of emails we get, and how to classify them, so that future redesigns can make email management even more streamlined and painless.
Google says that if you want to get the new inbox sooner, watch for a "Configure Inbox" setting to hit the gear menu icon in Gmail.