Google plots path to bring Inbox to Google Apps for Work

Google is opening up the Inbox party to a longer guest list, but an invite is still required.

After debuting on an invite-only basis for general Gmail accounts last fall, Google wants to make Inbox work harder.

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The Internet giant announced bright and early on Monday morning that it is proceeding to the next phase in its roadmap of rolling out Inbox to the masses.

That next stop consists of yet another invite-only window for corporate Google Apps customers.

Given that Inbox was designed with making email more intuitive and productive rather than a hassle, perhaps it is best suited for deployment in the workplace.

Alex Gawley, director of product management for the Gmail and Inbox by Gmail teams at Google, said in a blog post that "one of the biggest pieces of feedback we've received is that Google Apps customers want access to Inbox at work."

"Whether it's snoozing the expense report notification until after the big presentation, or adding a reminder to schedule lunch with a favorite client, Inbox helps put email on your terms," Gawley explained. "And since Inbox was built on the same infrastructure as Gmail, it meets the same high security standards you expect from email."

Just last week, Google pushed out an iPad version of Inbox on top of the versions available for the iPhone as well as Android devices.

But on top of the mandatory invite still blocking the door, there is another hurdle as well.

Google Apps customers will need their company IT administrators who manage Google Apps permissions to apply for entry to the Inbox for work early adopter program.

The Mountain View, Calif.-headquartered corporation will be enabling Inbox for a small pool of Google Apps customers starting next month.

Differing slightly from the invite process for personal Gmail accounts, Google warned not all Google Apps-Inbox applicants will be accepted right away, but the program will eventually expand in the following months.