In short: The Inbox by Gmail app has been declining long before Google decided to kill it, third-party performance data obtained by AndroidHeadlines reveals, shedding more light on the polarizing discontinuation. The app's user numbers have been unaffected by last week's announcement from Alphabet's subsidiary, with the tool still being found on over 2.3 million Android devices in the United States, according to App Ape's estimates. Approximately a quarter of its stateside user base launches Inbox at least once per day, with its number of daily active users averaging around 850,000 people over the last week and no significant changes in this regard being observed compared to August. While those metrics may imply remarkable user loyalty, Inbox has actually been losing momentum for some time now, with its user base shrinking by nearly two-thirds over the last twelve months alone.
Background: The app hasn't suffered from any single massive performance drop-off since its inception and has simply been steadily losing users over time, which may have prompted Google to pull the plug on the project while it's still relevant on any significant scale. The Play Store listing of the service reveals it has been downloaded by between 10 and 50 million Android users since its 2014 debut but if the newly obtained U.S. data is any indication of its global performance, a tiny, single-digit percentage of that user base was actually launching it on a monthly basis.
Google still prompted significant backlash after announcing Inbox will be discontinued in March, with the company's communication from last week being met by both criticism and ridicule from Inbox users. While many contemporary email apps including Google's own Gmail ship with a broad range of artificial intelligence technologies meant to make them more automated and intuitive, the streamlined user interface and robust automatic bundling capabilities of Inbox remain a relatively unique combination to this date.
Impact: The data obtained by AndroidHeadlines indicates that while Google may truly shift more resources toward Gmail as a result of the Inbox discontinuation — which is what it said was the main goal of the decision — the company didn't pull the plug on a widely used service but simply decided to count its losses on a project that has been fading into obscurity for a while now. Consequently, the volume of online backlash over the app's demise is likely a disproportionate representation of the general public's opinion on the matter as most people apparently don't care either way.