Gmail takes another step towards email 2.0

Gmail just announced an updated inbox today. The new Gmail will filter emails into four main categories: Primary, Social, Promotions and Updates. Primary will have all important emails - from friends, family and co-workers. Social will show all the emails sent by Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Promotions will display emails from services like LivingSocial and Groupon. Updates will show you emails from newsletters such as blogs or websites. Currently, all of this functionality can be achieved by using Labels in Gmail, but Google wants to build this in to give a more clean inbox to all the users and have a spam-free experience by cutting the clutter. Its a similar approach to what Microsoft has done to Hotmail with the new Outlook website.

Google had also announced other features earlier this month which will allows you to take “actions” from your inbox. It essentially means that you can RSVP from within the email or check-in to a flight from the email sent by airlines. This of course, will require the sender to embed special Gmail-specific code, but with the dominance of Gmail, we might soon see airlines embedding the new Gmail schema for quick check-ins.

The new look should automatically roll out for all users. Google is enabling this slowly across the entire user base. If you want early access, wait for a link to appear under the “Gears” (settings) in Gmail.