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Google trying to ‘fix’ email with new Gmail alternative

Published Oct 22nd, 2014 6:50AM EDT
Gmail vs. Bigtop: Google Email

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Google is apparently not happy with all the features its email product can offer, and it’s reportedly working on a new Gmail alternative, Android Police has learned, currently known internally as project “Bigtop.”

FROM EARLIER: Your first look at Google’s gorgeous new Gmail app for Android 5.0

While it’s not clear when Bigtop will be made official, and whether it’ll ever become a new Google product, the publication has already seen development versions of the Bigtop web and Android apps that suggest Google is taking a new approach to email, trying to further “fix” this daily chore. The app will also be available to iOS device users.

Interestingly, the new platform doesn’t have any Google branding, suggesting the product might handle email from other competing services, a feature that has been recently brought to Gmail on Android.

Bigtop focuses on simplicity, offering the user different ways of dealing with email. The user can pin a message down, snooze it for later or mark as done (archive it). Messages can also be grouped in clusters, so that users can combine mail related to the same task and deal with all of them at once.

Bigtop abides to the same Material Design rules Google introduced earlier this year, a new design language that’s supposed to offer users a different visual experience across devices and platforms, and has a very simple layout that offers quick access to recent emails, email categories, but also Hangouts integration. Obviously, search still plays a big part in email, as the search bar is still present on top.

The Android version of Bigtop appears to pack several Google Now-like features, as it’s able to highlight certain types of emails (such as flight information, hotel reservations and others), and bring them automatically to the forefront, as they might require immediate attention. A card-like interface is present within Bigtop, and the information is presented inside the app, atop of other emails.

A few images showing Google’s Bigtop email product, which will supposedly be accessed at inbox.google.com (currently inactive), follow below, with more of them available at the source link.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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