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April 22, 2017

Microsoft rolls out Focused Inbox for Gmail accounts in Windows 10 Mail app

by John_A

Why it matters to you

Your Gmail account will be more easy to manage with the addition of Focused Inbox support in the Windows 10 Mail & Calendar app.

Microsoft has spent tremendous time and energy on improving Windows 10, resulting in the recently released Creators Update and continuing with work on the next major update, Redstone 3. Along the way, the company has also worked to improve its first-party Windows 10 apps.

One of the most important is the Mail & Calendar app, which is the default mail app for Windows 10 users and still needs some work to be as good as Microsoft’s Outlook Mobile for iOS and Android. Today, the company announced expanded support for Gmail accounts, which will go a long way toward making the Mail & Calendar app more useful for more Windows 10 users.

The main update that Microsoft is introducing to the Mail & Calendar is Focused Inbox support for Gmail. Focused Inbox uses machine intelligence to guess which messages are most important and then places them under a “Focused” tab in an account’s inbox. Emails that the system considers nonessential are shunted to an “Other” tab, to let users spend their time on only the most important items. Additional Gmail support includes faster and better search and the ability to track travel and package information.

Focused Inbox other enhanced functionality has been available for accounts and Office 365 email addresses for a few weeks, and now it’s rolling out for Gmail accounts as well. It’s not available for everyone quite yet, and Windows Insiders will be the first to get a notification when the new functionality arrives for them. The notification will ask users for permission and then the Mail & Calendar app will run a synchronization and get everything up to speed.

By expanding the Focused Inbox and other features to Gmail accounts, Microsoft is a step closer to bringing feature parity to the Windows 10 Mail & Calendar app, which is suffered from a relative dearth of features compared to the Outlook Mobile apps for iOS and Android. Given Microsoft’s cross-platform focus, that’s a good thing, as it means that a user can feel more comfortable running a Windows 10 PC to go along with an iPhone or Android smartphone.

As always, Microsoft wants feedback on the new functionality and anyone who loves or hates the new Focused Inbox functionality can simply go to “Settings,” then “Feedback” in the Mail & Calendar app to let the company know their thoughts. Again, the Gmail account support won’t roll out immediately, and so keep an eye out for that notification to get your Gmail messages more focused.

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