David Cohen recently gave the heads-up on Unblab, an intriguing new web service giving you a new interface to your email. One of the first innovations you see is their newspaper-style layout:
I like this way of displaying message summaries, it’s a blend of the popular preview pane and the more concise list view. I could see this translating to a search interface very well too, looking something like ManagedQ’s web service.
They’re still in private beta, so I’m not clear on how everything works, but they’re trying out some fascinating innovations, like machine learning approaches for automatically organizing your mail, “Umm-brella” which forces senders to keep it brief, and access to parts of your account for assistants.
They support a wide variety of the most popular mail services, including some like Hotmail and Yahoo that don’t offer IMAP or POP access by default. I’ll be interested to see how they’ve managed this, and how well it works. I’ve run across screen-scraping tools like Web Mail Retriever, and Yahoo now uses a nerfed version of IMAP to support the Zimbra client, but there’s been no reliable and easy way to access all the main services.
I look forward to trying Unblab out once I get my invite, it looks like a very thoughtful and daring new approach to email interfaces. If you want to follow their progress, check them out on twitter.