Email is an awesome protocol in many ways. It’s actually one of the few totally open and decentralized protocols available right now. Of course, that has its downsides. Spam being the biggest offenders.
But there’s something beautiful about email being an open protocol. You can mould it, make it your own. And trust me, email needs it. Email was derived from the old letter format. This was centuries ago when everyone wore a grey overcoat, had sharp moustaches and smoked pipes. They had a lot of time on their hands to follow proper lettering etiquette.
We don’t. We need to use email as a communication tool to get things done faster. And in its current state, with requirements for a greeting, update and the long text field, email is just not set up that way.
But if you, and your peers use the right app, there’s a way around it.
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MailTime for iPhone supports Google, iCloud, Outlook, Yahoo!, mail.ru and even AOL. Yup. The app supports the most email clients of any apps on this list.
MailTime uses its parsing engine to scan your emails, it removes all the crud and presents the conversation as a stream of text messages. Like your SMS app or WhatsApp. Which you’re already familiar with.
But MailTime goes one step forward. Adding someone to a conversation is as easy as mentioning their @handle. There’s also a shared to-do list built in. So you can assign emails as tasks to anyone in your team.
Hop supports Google, Yahoo!, AOL and iCloud. And Hop works much like MailTime but it has an advantage in an iPad and even an Android app. Hop does a good job of removing signatures and greetings from messages and directly puts the meat of the message front and center. MailTime is clearly focused on professionals who want to deal with email faster. But Hop has a casual vibe to it. It’s about having conversations, viewing rich media and connecting with people.
But that doesn’t mean Hop is light on features. The app makes it really easy to attach files and photos. There are even options for sending web images, voice notes, doodles and location right from the app. Plus, it supports file access from Google Drive. Also, the app has the classic email mode if you feel the need to switch.
3. Microsoft Send
Microsoft Send is a surprising entry for this place. First of all, it’s an app from Microsoft’s Garage arm. It’s where they release experimental stuff. The app is only for iPhone and it only supports Office 365 accounts. I wasn’t able to get in with my normal Outlook account.
The app works the same as the two above. But of course, you can only use it if you’re deep into Microsoft universe and use their Office 365 suite to get things done. But once you get in, you can use it as a normal email app. You can send an email to anyone. They don’t need to be using the Send app.