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How to Track Your Travel Plans With Google's Inbox App

Illustration for article titled How to Track Your Travel Plans With Googles Inbox App

Amid all the news and noise coming out of Google I/O yesterday, you might have missed the announcement that Inbox by Gmail is available to anyone who wants it, no invitation needed. There are a handful of new features to take advantage of too—and one of these makes it easier to keep an eye on your travel plans.

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Google has been scanning Gmail accounts for travel information for some time: A simpler version of this feature already existed in Inbox and you can see similar results by searching for “my trips” in Google Now or on the web (if you’re signed into your Google account). Now though, these emails are automatically bundled together and available from the front page.

Illustration for article titled How to Track Your Travel Plans With Googles Inbox App
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Tap Trips from the Inbox menu to see your upcoming adventures. Hotel bookings and flight confirmations are the primary bits of information you’ll see, accompanied by what looks like a randomly chosen picture of your destination. Select an entry to see more details, like the gate your plane leaves from or the number of the hotel

If it’s in your emails then Inbox can show it. To hide a trip from your inbox, tap the menu button (three vertical dots) and choose Delete this trip. The emails themselves will remain in your account but the app won’t show a bundle for it any more.

Other new features let you trash email threads with a swipe to the right rather than archiving them (head to Settings to change this), set a signature for messages and retrieve sent emails (tap Undo on screen). Thankfully, integration with Keep has improved as well, so your reminders will appear in both places.

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DISCUSSION

matt975321
matt975321

All very interesting and I do have some upcoming trips and the organization and presentation that Inbox accomplishes is excellent. That said there is something lacking here or something more needs to be done for this to really be what it needs to be.

1. I am taking a trip this summer that involves a house rental, via the Homeaway website, the reservation e-mail does not show address or much detail. Regardless this reservation is not being added to the trip. They should allow you to manually associate an e-mail with a trip and allow you to fill in missing details so you can then have a real itinerary available.

2. I don’t think you can save your boarding passes to the trip bundles, so if flying you will still need to open a saved file, separate app, or some other thing to get your boarding pass. They really need the boarding pass to be an item in the bundle so you have a single place to manage all your travel.

3. While it is not a bad idea that makes some sense to have this in inbox as it does pull most of the info from e-mail, this probably really belongs in Google Now. For example when it is time for a trip you would get a Google Now card with the first step showing, with a header that if you click on would give you the full itinerary. Also you would have the option to bring up the side menu bar and from there you could select “trips” and see your itinerary with all the boarding passes and whatever other info you have associated with it.

Until it achieves the completeness that is still lacking, I think I will need to rely on apps such as tripit to manage my itinerary. What they have done is a big step in the direction we need and perhaps this was a necessary first step for a more full-blown experience in the future.