It's well past time. Gmail seems to finally be really merging the sort of intelligent, context-specific search Google provides for you on the web* with searching on

Now when you're searching for a frequent flyer number or shipping status (for example), Inbox will show it at the top of search results–no more digging through individual emails to find what you're looking for.

Underneath any quick answers, you'll see a "Top results" section that orders emails by relevance. Below that is all the email results, ordered by date, but chances are you won't have to look here often.

In my spare time, I'm still slowly slogging my way to creating a mail client I'd want to use, and these are the sorts of features that are going to be difficult to copy. Not impossible, but difficult. It'd be interesting to know if this code is shared somewhere else in Google, or if the Inbox team did it themselves.

The big advantage of being a one-person shop is that you can turn on a dime and release things without waiting for committees to sign off on design, function, branding, and reuse. But that opposite side is, of course, that you only have one schmoe working for you, and, at least in my case, that schmoe isn't going to have millions of people's worth of data from which to pull patterns.

* With the usual caveats: if you have a Google account, and it's turned on when you search, which many prefer not to do. I've used DuckDuckGo a bit recently. It's my default search engine on my iPad and a few browsers. It's not as good as Google yet, and I wonder how much of the advantage is due to these potentially privacy invasive moves Google can pull off.

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