Google first launched Gmail nearly 11 years ago, and there is no question that it changed email as we know it. Practically limitless storage, enhanced spam filtering, a new means of email organization… and all for free! Gmail remains one of the most popular email services in the world to this day, but we all know nothing lasts forever.

What does the future of email look like? According to three engineers at Google, the future of email is already in our hands.

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Earlier this year, Google released a brand new take on mobile and desktop email called “Inbox.” The app apes some key features from other email solutions, namely Mailbox, and mixes in some new features of its own to create a system that takes a new approach to email management.

The result is a cool new take on email and for many users, it’s a breath of fresh air.

google-inbox-by-gmailImage Source: Google Inc.

For Google, Inbox isn’t just an experimental new app for your smartphone and desktop. Instead, it might very well be the future of email.

Three Google engineers who were among the people responsible for creating Inbox recently participated in an “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit. One of the questions was “Do you think Inbox will replace Gmail on the long road?,” and lead Inbox designer Jason Cornwell had a very intriguing answer.

“In the short term, no. In the very long term, we hope so,” Cornwell said. “Inbox is something new — that’s why we’re launching it as a separate product. We care deeply about Gmail and Gmail users, but in the long run as we add more features to Inbox and respond to user feedback we hope that everyone will want to use Inbox instead of Gmail. Ultimately, our users will decide.”

Inbox is currently an invitation-only service, and it only works with personal Gmail accounts and not Google Apps accounts.

The following video provides a nice introduction to the service, if you haven’t yet tried it.

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