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What's Gmail's "Magic Inbox?"

Google Operating System spotted some code in Gmail that points to an upcoming feature called "Magic Inbox" or "Icebox-Inbox." It's not clear what this mystery feature is going to do, but it looks like it's a new way of prioritizing your incoming mail based on senders you've interacted with frequently. Commenters at gOS have been attacking the feature based on speculation about how it might work, but I'm not jumping to any conclusions.

As evidence for their theory that Magic Inbox is based on some kind of friend priority algorithm, gOS cites a feature called Friend Finder that Google is known to be working on. They explain that "Friend Finder analyzes a user's email traffic and indicates the friends with whom a user has strong email connections based on incoming/outgoing traffic and the frequency and speed in which two parties respond to each other," which would be a good way to determine which messages belong at the top of a busy inbox.

As I said, I'm not jumping to conclusions about the exact way this is going to work. There already seems to be a strong reaction both for and against this feature, and we don't even know what it does yet. Any inside tips, readers? Do any anonymous Gmail team members out there want to tell the real story?

Tags: gmail, google, gOS, icebox-inbox, magic-inbox, rumor