Email has been around for some time and is now one of the main types of digital communication and an important part of today's communication between professionals, companies, brands, and so on. One of the biggest problems email users face today is keeping their inbox clean, a result of the ever-growing number of messages, newsletters, transaction emails, spam, and so on. Google was one of the first services to try to organize this mess, and the result is the amazing labeling system found within Gmail, that filters e-mails by categories using machine learning. More recently, the search giant introduced Inbox by Gmail, which can be labeled as the evolution of email, bringing a smart component for emails using Google's powerful machine learning software. Inbox not only labels emails but also scans messages to offer smart actions based on the content. One simple but very useful feature is called Smart Reply, and gives users the option for quick replies and based on the content. Previously available only on mobile, Google has just announced it has now arrived on Inbox for the web.
As the name suggests, the replies are smart and are shown when Inbox detects the need for them. The texts can be anything and are context based. In the image below, you can see that the email body contains the text "It's done! Let me know what you think about Smart Reply in Inbox on Web", and the reply options shown are "I think it's perfect!", "Looks great", "I like it!". If the text was someone asking you about a vacation plan, it could show you options like "No plans yet", "I'm working on it", and so on. In order to send the reply, the user just has to click on the desired text and hit "Send". Not to mention, it can be edited before sending as well. This is not a killer feature but one which can save you some time and a few clicks here and there. Google says Smart Reply is used in about 10% of all conversations on mobile, so it's a significant number.
The feature has been announced today and it may take a while until all users have it activated, so if you still don't see the quick reply options, it will come in time. Inbox has been receiving several new features since its introduction and it can really help with one's productivity. For example, if you buy an airline ticket, Inbox automatically adds it to your calendar and there's even a special tab for Trips. When you buy something, based on your invoice, the system will keep track of the purchase, mailing and so on. If you have a meeting scheduled by e-mail, it also automatically adds to the calendar, and so on.