Google Inbox, which has served as a more forward-thinking alternative to Gmail since 2014, will finally stop working on April 2. As 9to5Google notes, the official shutdown date for Inbox started appearing in the app on Monday, and is the same date that Google+ will shut down.
For the last four-plus years, Inbox has been a testing ground of sorts for features that eventually arrived in Gmail proper, including swipe gestures, computer-generated responses, and a snooze button. (Some of those features originated in other services like Mailbox and Boomerang, which may have prompted Google to release Inbox in the first place.) After Gmail received an overhaul last September, Google said it would shut down Inbox to focus on a single app.
While Gmail still doesn’t offer every feature that Inbox had, it is possible to approximate the experience with various browser extensions and settings tweaks. The bigger loss is that concept of an experimental outlet, where the world’s biggest email provider can test its weirder ideas at scale. Once again, that job will fall to third-party email clients and extensions instead.