No Google Inbox Invitation? Try These Instead - InformationWeek

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10/24/2014
08:06 AM
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No Google Inbox Invitation? Try These Instead

If you're tired of the same old mobile email experience, there are plenty of apps in the sea.

10 Elegant Product Designs, Not By Apple
10 Elegant Product Designs, Not By Apple
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Google announced Inbox, its new approach to email, on Wednesday. Inbox was created by the same team that developed Gmail 10 years ago, and it promises to reinvent how we deal with email. Too bad Inbox is available only as a limited beta at the moment. It could easily be months before it becomes widely available. (Anyone have an invitation yet? Anyone?)

Android and iOS devices both have solid email clients that are part of the core operating system. They can handle most types of email accounts, including Exchange, POP, and IMAP. They don't always cut it, though. If you're itching to get away from built-in email clients, there are a plethora of alternatives available.

CloudMagic
This free mobile email app was designed by CloudMagic Inc. It is available for both Android and iOS, and it supports the majority of email services, including Gmail, Exchange, Yahoo, Outlook, iCloud, Google Apps, Office 365, and IMAP. Signup is easy. Most supported services require users only to input their email address and password -- no futzing with SMTP and domain settings.

Users can add multiple accounts to the app. If you do, CloudMagic lets you see all emails bundled together in one master inbox or separated into their individual accounts. Its claim to fame is the card interface it uses, which hooks into productivity tools such as Salesforce, Zendesk, Evernote, Pocket, and Trello.

[Take a look inside Google's new email app. See Google Inbox: 5 Things To Know.]

Mailbox
Mailbox started off on its own but was eventually purchased by Dropbox. Like CloudMagic, it is available for both Android and iOS. It's a bit more limited in the email protocols it supports, as it is compatible only with Gmail and iCloud. It says more platforms will be supported soon.

Mailbox is appealing thanks to the simplified user interface, which makes it easy to scan entire email threads as if they were IM chats. Users can archive or trash messages with swiping gestures, as well as snooze individual conversations -- or the entire email app -- to limit interruptions. Mailbox uses encryption, so email is delivered securely.

(Image: kropekk_pl on Pixabay)
(Image: kropekk_pl on Pixabay)

Outlook Web Access
Don't confuse Outlook Web Access with Microsoft's rebranded Hotmail service (now called Outlook). OWA is for business users. It requires the latest version of Office 365 for business. It works on Android devices and the iPhone.

OWA lets smartphone owners interact with their email, calendar, and contacts all in one app. Some of the core features include Conversation View for threaded emails, search, shared calendars, voice actions, and remote meeting room finders. Changes made within OWA are automatically synced back to the user's office machines. Last, OWA is secure thanks to device admin tools and encryption. It also supports remote wipe without affecting personal data.

Yahoo Mail
Don't laugh. Yahoo is trying hard. In fact, it just recently updated Yahoo Mail for Android and the iPhone with Google Now-like event reminders. Yahoo Mail may work only with Yahoo's email service, but savvy users can add multiple inboxes to their online account in order to see them within the mobile app.

Perhaps Yahoo Mail's most significant feature is the design. It's pleasing to the eye, and the usability is top notch. It delivers not only email, but also personalized news, web searches, and daily snapshots of the weather, sports scores, and popular videos. The mobile app provides access to all the folders, including drafts, sent mail, and the trash.

None of the above is perfect, but they do serve as solid alternatives to stock email clients.

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Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio

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PequenoPete
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PequenoPete,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/27/2014 | 6:55:41 AM
Re: Invitation Only is Brilliant Marketing
Or it can lead to a big fail like Google Wave if you don't get enough people involved from the outset. It's a gamble in my mind that may well pay off.
nasimson
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nasimson,
User Rank: Ninja
10/26/2014 | 10:17:26 PM
OWA - outdated web access to emails
OWA?

I am quite surprised that OWA - Outlook Web Access is in your list of good email clients. I am an infrequent user of OWA. I happen to use it whenever I dont have my laptop with me. And lets say that its not a pleasant experience like GMail. You cant open multiple windows, no pop outs, no access to older downloaded conversations, etc. So many limitations.
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
10/26/2014 | 9:19:46 PM
Re: Invitation Only is Brilliant Marketing

@asksqn    There is surly something to your angle but I see this issue of invitation a little differently.   There is something odd and arrogant about this "invitation" method that Google employs.  My earlier comments have been tongue and cheek, as this Google oddity surfaces every time they  launch a new offering.

Brilliant marketing to the masses ?  Maybe.   But I think most outside tech circles don't even know about it.  This makes the method even more odd if you ask me.

I have  known only one person who actually received an invitation for an as of yet unveiled product offering by Google.   I can't recall how he got it in the first place though.

 

So I just chalk this up to " it's Google's World, we just live in it ".

asksqn
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asksqn,
User Rank: Ninja
10/25/2014 | 1:14:54 PM
Invitation Only is Brilliant Marketing
Here we go again - yet another program available via invite only- there is a lot to be said for this kind of marketing. As Google is well aware, it all but guarantees a demand as the "have nots" quickly seek to become part of the "me too"  collective.  
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
10/24/2014 | 10:34:25 PM
Re: Interesting alternatives

@Thomas   Agreed.  In general it does a great job for most email accounts especially if you want to have multi-gmail accounts, but  I couldn't configure it for hotmail  which I desperately wanted so CloudMagic will work when I use my tablet or phone.  But I like to interface through the browser most often when I am dealing with email.   

So what I really need is a browser solution - which I am sure there has to be something out there.

Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
10/24/2014 | 10:11:52 PM
Re: Interesting alternatives

@jagbbons    I have the same issue and this ( labels ) is but one of the things that constitute an unneccessary learning curve that I really find annoying. 

Was there really any need to replace folders with labels ?   It took me a long time to get use this as well,  I can only imagine ( due mainly to the fact that I have yet to received my invitation ; /  )  what lies ahead as far as this latest offering.

jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
10/24/2014 | 6:26:04 PM
Re: Interesting alternatives
Gmail is a versatile tool. I still struggle sometimes with the labels versus the old school folders I'm so comfortable with, but that's my issue.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
10/24/2014 | 6:12:09 PM
Re: Interesting alternatives
Gmail is actually quite useful for keeping track of multiple email accounts. It can fetch POP and IMAP messages so you have them in one place.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
10/24/2014 | 4:06:11 PM
Re: Interesting alternatives
A lot of folks have multiple email accounts. Keeping track of them all can be cumbersome. Any tool to help manage the onslaught of email is a good thing.
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
10/24/2014 | 1:26:22 PM
Re: Interesting alternatives

@Eric   Thanks so much for alerting us to options for email.   I am certainly going to try CloudMagic !    

And then maybe I will ignore the Google invite when it finally arrives. : ) 

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