Google Faces Massive Backlash After Decision To Kill Off Inbox

In short: Thousands of Inbox users flooded social media and Google's own product forums to criticize the company's decision to kill off the popular email app which prided itself with various artificial intelligence capabilities since 2014. "Completely amazed by the lack of understanding of their own core business," wrote one disgruntled user on Twitter, with another one describing Gmail as a "medieval" solution in comparison to Inbox. Hundreds of calls for Inbox copycats are now also circulating the Internet, with many users claiming they'd be willing to pay for an automated email management app that does the exact same thing Inbox does. About a dozen Change.org petitions trying to convince Google to drop the idea of discontinuing Inbox also emerged over the last week, though none gained significant traction.

Background: Google said it's discontinuing Inbox in order to focus its email resources solely on Gmail, arguing that the older service is already comparably intelligent to its soon-to-be-shuttered peer, especially following the major redesign it went through earlier this year. A vocal portion of the Inbox user base is arguing Gmail was the one that should have been scrapped if Google dropped the idea of maintaining two services simultaneously but even if the company ever seriously considered a choice between the two, the decision went in favor of the app with much more brand recognition. Gmail is still missing email bundling and many user interface elements of Inbox, with the company providing no indication that it's planning to bring those features to its other app.

Impact: As suggested by the examples of Google Reader, Meebo, Google Page Creator, and many other services Alphabet's subsidiary shut down over the years, no amount of public backlash will save Inbox. Whether the firm makes good on its promise to make Gmail even smarter and more akin to Inbox in the long run remains to be seen but as things stand right now, its likely that many Inbox users won't stick around to find out whether that ends up being the case. The Inbox by Gmail app will be rendered non-functional in March.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]
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