Google Gmail gets priority inbox

Google's Gmail service has added a virtual personal assistant which can sift through your messages and prioritise them in order of importance.

Priority Inbox attempts to sort your email into three basic categories, 'important and unread', 'starred' and 'everything else'.

We reckon that roughly translates to 'stuff I need to read now', 'stuff I can't be arsed to read at the moment but might get around later' and 'stuff from people trying to sell me things to make my dinkle bigger'.

As with everything Google ever does, the new service is currently in beta form and is likely to be so perpetually.

"As messages come in, Gmail automatically flags some of them as important," says Doug Aberdeen on the official Gmail Blog. "Gmail uses a variety of signals to predict which messages are important, including the people you email most (if you email Bob a lot, a message from Bob is probably important) and which messages you open and reply to (these are likely more important than the ones you skip over). And as you use Gmail, it will get better at categorising messages for you."

The new service will be rolling out to existing users over the next few weeks, although if you use Google Apps you will more than likely be among the first batch of guinea pigs.