Not long ago I befuddled my own brain by declaring that Outlook (yes, Outlook) was the best current email app on the iPhone. And I still think that BUT I think I’m missing a work there. What I really mean is that Outlook (I still can’t believe I’m typing this) is the best TRADITIONAL email app for iPhone. It’s a polished and easy to use version of what you’d expect an email app to look like. But, as a tech writer and enthusiast is prone to do, I began to wonder what else was out there. Was anyone completely re-thinking what email could and should look like on an iPhone? And to my surprise and delight, the answer was YES.
Apple, of course, just recently announced 3D Touch at the iPhone 6s event and that in itself is a major interface breakthrough that will make using Apple’s default Mail app, well, different. And better. And soon 3D Touch will make it’s way into third party apps as well, including other email apps. And here, in my opinion, are the best NEW email apps for iPhone as we head into 2016.
We publish useful new tech lists every weekday. See them all!
The concept behind MailTime is simple: display email conversations like threads of text messages. If you’ve ever sent a text message you’ll be instantly familiar with MailTime’s interface. It’s an attempt at decluttering not just your inbox, which many email apps attempt to do, but your actual email messages. It’s simple, it’s natural and, if you ask me, it’s brilliant. Was this app made by a team of geniuses or something?
InboxVudu wants to make you more productive by being more intelligent than your current email app. It does work as a Chrome extension for Gmail users, but I’m most interested in the iPhone and Apple Watch versions. For starters, I love the idea of getting intelligent notifications; I hate getting pinged about EVERY email so it would be great to only be notified when something important rolls through. Plus, smart summarizations help you better understand message content at a glance.
Many email apps strive to sort your inbox by order of importance. But only Zero displays their unique card-style view, called Mailfeed, which gives you summarizations you can quickly absorb or take further action with. The prioritization algorithm, combined with the clutter-free interface, make Zero a logical choice for people who don’t want to miss anything but still want to sift through their inbox really quickly.
SlideMail takes yet another interesting and innovative approach to mobile mail management using artificial intelligence. It’s capable of automatically turning invites into calendar events, learns your behavior in order to let you take similar actions faster (like if you always archive a certain type of notification or newsletter) and displays contextually relevant info which differs from email to email.
Dispatch may not be the prettiest-looking email app, but it offers some features I know power-users are going to fall in love with. For instance, you can save snippets of text and use them as replies (for those emails that always ask the same question). It also works with TextExpander (for expanding stored text snippets for faster typing), works with 22 apps/services for integrations and actions, and, importantly, makes it easy to mark items as spam. I’m thinking you engineers, rather than you designers, might really like this app.