In the world of technology, email is the grand old man, who has been around for more than 40 years and yet still knows how to pack a punch. While several new communication platforms have emerged and proclaimed to be the “new email”, few of them have survived (anyone still remember Google Wave?).
Rather than going extinct, email has survived by changing with the times and adapting itself to the ever-evolving technological landscape. It seems that whenever the end of email is proclaimed yet again, new email apps emerge that bring something new to the table and shows us how email as a medium continues to stay relevant.
In this post, we’re taking a closer look at 3 apps that are bringing new features to our inbox and pushing the evolution of email further than ever:
1) Mailbox – Boost your inbox productivity
Mailbox is a simple and sleek email client that helps you reach inbox zero. With productivity in mind, the app turns your inbox into a to-do list, each email representing a task that needs to be completed. Once you have responded to an email, you can mark it as done by archiving or deleting it. If you’re unable to respond to an email right away, a few simple swipes let you put it off and schedule it to reappear in your inbox at a later time, similar to a to-do reminder.
How is it changing email?
Mailbox offers a new and productive approach to email in that it turns each email into actions that needs to be done and lets you prioritize them according to your needs. The interface of the app is minimalistic without an excessive amount of buttons or elements to distract you from your tasks. Using Mailbox, archiving and deleting emails is a quick and easy task, thanks to the cleverly integrated swiping gestures. The biggest strength of Mailbox is that you almost forget it’s even there: the app gets out of the way to let you get through your email quicker and more productively.
2) Google Inbox – Let the inbox organize your emails
Google recently unveiled their new email app, simply named Inbox, which promises to make your inbox smarter. One of its core features is a complete revamp of how your inbox is organized: rather of listing your emails in chronological order as they come in, the app groups them into categories such as purchases, travel and social, which makes your inbox more organized and easier to find a specific email. The app also uses an algorithm to pull out the most important contents of each email, such as flight information or UPS tracking code, and displays it right in your inbox, so you don’t have to open each message individually. Other features include snoozing emails, similar to Mailbox, and adding reminders. All wrapped up in a sleek package that makes browsing your inbox a breeze.
How is it changing email?
With their latest app, Google takes a stab at a more modern and more streamlined emailing experience. The main idea is to make your inbox more intelligent and able to sort through incoming email for you to show you the most important things. It’s like having a personal assistant reading your mail and passing on key bullet points. A TL;DR feature built right into your mailbox. How well it works of course depends on the sorting filters and algorithm, which Google needs time to perfect. As it is though, Inbox is a clever and well-designed app that brings lots of new ideas to the table.
3) Triage – Get through your inbox faster
Triage is an app created for people that are overwhelmed with emails and are looking for a way to quickly get through them on the go. In the app, emails are presented as a stack of papers, which users can flick through by swiping up or down, up to archive or delete, and down to save for later. As such, the app is not a replacement for a regular email client, but instead gives users a faster way to scan emails, sort through the clutter and save the emails that need a response for later. While the app does have a reply function, the focus is definitely on reading emails and not on writing longer messages.
How is it changing email?
Probably the most interesting aspect of Triage is that it changes the way we manage our email in breaking it down the process into two steps – reading and responding. First, users can make use of their time on the go by flicking through and reading their email in the Triage app. And once they’ve made it to their office with access to an email client, they’re all set to respond to the remaining emails in their inbox that require an action. An interesting idea that is worth trying out for anyone suffering from severe email overload.
Email apps today are more powerful than ever and as technology evolves, email follows and shows us new and improved ways of reading and sending. Where email will go next is hard to predict (email on your wrist should be interesting though), but we’re excited to follow its evolution and see what we’ll be able to do with our inbox in the future.
Did we miss your favorite email app? Share it in the comments below and tell us what makes the app great.