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Google Is Sprucing Up Its Inbox App With Extra Organizational Tools

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Alex Gawley of Google speaks about the app "Inbox by Gmail" when first previewed in New York on October 24, 2014.Photograph by Jewel Samad—AFP/Getty Images

Business chat and messaging systems like Slack are claiming plenty of customers, so email software purveyors are busy recasting their apps as broader organizational systems.

The latest evidence? Internet giant Google (GOOG) unfurled on Tuesday several updates to its Inbox by Gmail app that offer another glimpse of that future.

Hint: they’re mainly about saving time, as were the set of revisions that went live in April.

Chief among the latest batch of new features are deeper connections with Trello, a project management application used by teams at companies such as Kickstarter, Pixar, and PayPal; and GitHub, a service used widely by software developers to share code.

The Inbox app now organizes notifications from these systems into at-a-glance summaries—it’s kind of like an email newsletter. The idea is to make it simpler to act on them in place, either by marking something as complete or following a link to more detailed information.

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Google has also added several “highly requested features,” including a simpler way to add file attachments from Google Drive, its cloud storage service, into messages.

The updates are available immediately, although Google is promising additional app integrations, much like the Trello and GitHub ones. The app is available on Android and Apple iOS. It also comes as an extension for several browsers including Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.