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Google Inbox app heads to tablets, Firefox, Safari

It's still an invitation-only app, but Inbox is opening up beyond the confines of smartphones and Google Chrome.

Google's Inbox email app is now available for the iPad. Google

Google is expanding the reach of its latest email application onto more platforms.

In a blog post Thursday, Google said that its Inbox email app is now available on the iPad and Android tablets. Previously, the app was restricted to the iPhone and Android smartphones, though it was also available via the Web. You can download the iPad version from Apple's App Store and the Android version from Google Play.

And in another change, users can now access Inbox via the Firefox and Safari browsers. Previously, Inbox was restricted to Google Chrome.

Unveiled last October, Inbox is a new type of email program for Google, separate and different from Gmail. Instead of placing your messages into the traditional folders, Inbox displays each email message based on categories, or bundles. Emails deemed important may be placed into one bundle in your inbox, while those related to specific areas, such as social or travel, are placed into a different bundle. The aim is to have the software organize all of your email so that you don't have to.

That means you're relying on the smarts of Inbox to determine how individual messages should be categorized. And that's always going to be a hit-or-miss proposition -- some people may like the way Inbox works and others may prefer a more traditional email client.

One thing that hasn't change is the way you get Inbox. The app is still available on an invitation-only basis. You can download it, but the app won't work without the invitation. To request access to the app, you have to contact Google at inbox@google.com, and the company promises to let you in as soon as more invites are available.