Google’s Inbox is headed towards some changes with the upcoming update to version 1.3, which users will notice as slight aesthetic alterations like the minor visual touches given to the icons for the inbox, snooze, and done categories, as well as the reminders and settings icons which look slightly bigger. In addition to the minor icon tweaks, the main slide out panel that holds those options for Inbox now covers the display from the top to bottom edge so long as you’re on a device running Lollipop,(my device is not running Lollipop but still has the changes to the icons as you can see from the screenshots below)compared to the current look where the slide out panel only reaches to the status bar. This new look is evident of the Material Design guidelines just slightly more than before, although there will be some under the hood changes to look out for as well.
When it comes to functional changes, it appears there will be a new option coming in a later update that allows users to set pre-configured snooze settings so if they have to snooze a large amount of notifications and reminders, they’ll be able to do so by selecting from a pre-configured list of options. For new features that are present as of now with version 1.3,(which can you grab the apk download for at the bottom of this post)Google has added the capability to change the notification sound for the incoming emails or other notifications that are filtering into Inbox, whereas you previously could only turn the default notification tone on or off. Technically you could change the Inbox notification sound if you altered your default system notification tone, but naturally that meant it would change the notification tone for every single application that was configured to use default. Now, when you enter settings after the update, the “Play Sound” feature is now just simply “sound” and will allow you to select and set whichever sound you like for the notification tone when you tap on it.
As noted by Android Police, it also looks like Google is getting ready to add in a launcher shortcuts feature, allowing users to set specific shortcuts on their homescreens to take them to very specific areas of the app. As an example, setting a launcher shortcut to jump right to the “top paid apps” page in the Play Store. If this was the first place you visit every time you launch the Play Store, this launcher shortcut would arguably be a better solution than tapping the original Play Store icon every time and launching the Play Store home page, then navigating into apps, and finally to the top paid apps screen. Currently, it looks like Google is set up to introduce launcher shortcuts for only two areas of Inbox soon, which are buttons for setting reminders and composing a new message. Longtime users of third party home launchers like Nova Prime will be very familiar with the ability to set shortcuts to specific parts of an app, as you can currently do this with a feature of Nova’s called Nova activities(shown below). While some of the changes to Inbox are still not ready, chances are they’re not too far off so look forward to them if you’re an avid Inbox user. If you want to update to version 1.3 of Inbox now you can grab the download here.