Featured Articles

AMD sheds light on stacked DRAM APUs

AMD sheds light on stacked DRAM APUs

AMD is fast tracking stacked DRAM deployment and a new presentation leaked by the company  points to APUs with stacked DRAM,…

More...
Nvidia officially launches the 8-inch Shield Tablet

Nvidia officially launches the 8-inch Shield Tablet

As expected and reported earlier, Nvidia has now officially announced its newest Shield device, the new 8-inch Shield Tablet. While the…

More...
Intel launches new mobile Haswell and Bay Trail parts

Intel launches new mobile Haswell and Bay Trail parts

Intel has introduced seven new Haswell mobile parts and four Bay Trail SoC chips, but most of them are merely clock…

More...
Aerocool Dead Silence reviewed

Aerocool Dead Silence reviewed

Aerocool is well known for its gamer cases with aggressive styling. However, the Dead Silence chassis offers consumers a new choice,…

More...
AMD A8-7600 Kaveri APU reviewed

AMD A8-7600 Kaveri APU reviewed

Today we'll take a closer look at AMD's A8-7600 APU Kaveri APU, more specifically we'll examine the GPU performance you can…

More...
Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2010 orks, a business unit of Nuevvo Webware Ltd.
Tuesday, 31 August 2010 07:32

Gmail's "Priority Inbox" attempts to organize e-mail by importance

Written by Jon Worrel

gmail_logo

Promises an average 6 percent productivity gain

In the early 1990s when e-mail was becoming a transformative complementary utility of the World Wide Web, before social networks, news blogs, daily deals and automated notifications bombarded the inboxes of millions of users with hundreds of messages per day, the average user spent less time managing inbox items by priority and more time to give attentive focus to important messages. As information became democratized over successive hills and troughs of information technology revolutions in the past two decades, many have been left to face a depressing reality where opening up the e-mail inbox in 2010 doesn't elicit the same dynamic control it once did many years ago.

As a result of hundreds of daily microtransactions with the web and a more forceful continuity of connectedness, even some of the finest organizers of information have become powerless in an attempt to manage the complexity of a more globalized lifestyle within the constraints of a temporally structured e-mail inbox interface. Thankfully, software engineers at Google have come up with an experimental new way of taking on information overload in Gmail.

gmail_priority_inbox

Dubbed "Priority Inbox," Google's new Gmail feature is aimed a providing users a way to get through their inboxes as efficiently as possible. The technology is designed around the company's already existing spam filter algorithms, which have proven to be highly successful at filtering junk mail into the "Spam" folder. In this regard, the algorithms have been restructured to arrange messages in the "Inbox" folder that a user considers of high importance at the top of the list, and of lowest importance at the bottom of the list.

Priority Inbox uses information such as keywords, the Gmail contacts e-mailed the most and daily e-mail habits to build a semantic understanding of important e-mails in the Inbox. "We think we can get this to be pretty solid out of the box, but it gets better and better over time. It essentially learns from you," Google's group product manager of Enterprise Apps Rajen Sheth told ArsTechnica in an interview. "This is just the next evolution in making people more efficient in dealing with information overload."

As Mashable has noted, Priority Inbox is also an adaptive algorith. Marking items as important or unimportant allows the feature to have better understand of what types of messages are deemed most urgent by the user. Messages can also be priorities by recipients - for example, from a coworker or a spouse.

priority_inbox_quick_guide

According to several sources, Google has already been testing Priority Inbox with business and consumer Gmail users for several months. Empirical studies performed on test subjects have shown that users are spending an average of 6 percent less time manageing e-mail after enabling the feature. "That's clearly a significant productivity gain," said Google group project manager of Enterprise Apps Rajen Sheth. "It adds up to one full workweek's worth of time per year. More importantly, it helps bring organization to chaos and draws your attention to things that need addressing."

Although the practical utility and usefulness of Gmail's new Priority Inbox feature appears harmless on the surface, we are inclined to question the security risks that an updated inbox crawling algorithm poses on sensitive personal data. Google has not commented on whether or not the algorithm ties a user's organization preferences to their respective Gmail account, or if it's more of a dynamic general filter managed by Google Labs that learns from experience and applies the same structural rules to the millions of Gmail inboxes utilizing the feature. While the company has emphasized the ability for users to create complex filters for different subjects, different interactions and different people, it has also mentioned that the enhancement is free and will automatically be added to all Gmail inboxes.

The company has already begun rolling out the feature to all users in all languages. Meanwhile, Google Apps users must enable the "pre-release features" setting before it becomes available.

Last modified on Tuesday, 31 August 2010 09:12

Jon Worrel

E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Related Video

Gmail Priority Inbox Google
blog comments powered by Disqus

 

Facebook activity

Latest Commented Articles

Recent Comments