Google’s Inbox app gets handy ‘Smart Reply’ tool

Inbox Smart Reply in action. Photo: Google

Inbox Smart Reply in action. Photo: Google

Google’s Inbox app is getting a handy “Smart Reply” tool that’ll suggests short, simple responses to your emails when a quickly reply is all that’s required. The tool hopes to help you wade through your busy inbox a whole lot faster.

“Inbox is already on hand assisting you with the next step, organizing your trips, and even suggesting reminders,” Google notes. “But when you’re checking email on the go, it can be cumbersome and time-consuming to reply to all or even some of them.”

With this in mind, the company designed a new tool that can “guess” which emails can be answered with a short reply, then prepares three of them on your behalf. If you decide one of them is suitable, simply tap it and hit the send button.

And when you need to compose a longer reply, you might want to use one of Inbox’s suggestions to get you started.

“There’s actually a lot going on behind the scenes to make Smart Reply work,” Google explains. “Inbox uses machine learning to recognize emails that need responses and to generate the natural language responses on the fly.”

If you want to learn more about how Smart Reply works, you can check out the Google Research Blog, where the company explains it all in detail. In the meantime, you’ll find the Inbox update with Smart Reply baked in on Android and iOS this week.