Over the last few weeks, Google, Microsoft and IBM have released e-mail solutions that promise to make the flood of e-mail easier to manage. Here are a few initial impressions:
Google Inbox beta was launched a few weeks ago and consists of a new web interface and mobile app. I’ve been using it with my personal Gmail account which is my primary “personal” e-mail. I’ve always liked the “tabs” feature of Gmail which organized my e-mail into groups like Primary, Social, Promotions and Updates. Inbox has a similar feature to bundle similar e-mails albeit with a radically new user interface that leverages the new Google Material Design language. I like the ability to mark e-mails “Done” and swiping e-mail from the Inbox on a mobile device like my Nexus 7 tablet running Android 5 Lollipop.
Microsoft has released a wealth of new products lately as part of its shift from a “devices and services company” to a productivity company. They include: New Office for iPhone apps which are now free, even for editing, Delve and Office Graph search and discovery, Windows 10 tech preview, Microsoft Band (fitness tracker), Office Mix for Powerpoint, Sway content aggregation and presentation and finally Clutter intelligent e-mail. Similar to Inbox, Clutter promises to tame the inbox. It’s available now for Office 365 customers and I created this short video to show how to enable it (Clutter is disabled by default). The Outlook Web Access mobile client also supports Clutter, I’m looking forward to trying Delve (similar to Flipboard/Zite) when my Office 365 small business premium account is upgraded early next year.
Announced on November 18, 2014 and shipping in 2015, IBM Verse is delivered via the cloud to both the web and mobile via a native client. More than email, Verse leverages the power Watson to combine collaboration, social, analytics and e-mail into a single tool.