Oct 2016

A new mail service from AOL

A new mail service from AOL

The offline has moved in the online for a long time. It’s like we can’t even remember how it was like without a cellphone, an internet connection and an online social life. There are so many things we need to handle both offline and online, that we cannot live without tools and programs to help us tackle the daily tasks.

AOL, one of the pioneers in online communications, that is especially remembered for its unique dial up sound and the “You’ve Got Mail” alert wants to revolutionize once more the way we communicate and handle the online.

Stacking up your emails

Their latest innovation is called Alto and it’s a mail app which wants to become the main application used to organize and manage our emails. AOL Alto was recently launched and it’s already on everyone’s lips.

Since the percentage of mobile devices keeps on growing, Alto is aiming to attract mobile users who browse through their email more often than they do on their desktops. This is a smart move because they want to cover a growing market, but they still have the web service for those who still check their mails the old-fashion way, on their computer.

AOL does not want to compete with email services like Google or Outlook because it’s an email aggregation inbox which organizes all the emails you have on different accounts.

Nothing special so far. So what’s the catch with Alto?

The small detail that might catch your attention is the filtering feature. Alto will automatically organize all your emails, form all your accounts into stacks that have different categories, depending on your needs. Their pride is that they support all email providers so you can pull them all together in one single inbox and then you can have an overview based on certain categories, not on accounts.

The features that set Alto apart

For sure there are other apps or tools that organize different email accounts so you can easily visualize and read them. So what’s different about Alto?

  • The interface is friendly and reminds us of Google’s inbox, with its swipe functionality and Cards option, similar to the Quick Actions. Here are the details of the interface and the functionalities that count.
  • Your messages are organized into stacks based on their content. This means that you can scroll down through all the photo attachments, available in all your accounts, you can isolate messages like travel offers or personal mails, depending on your preference and more
  • The Cards could become the next big thing for email users because they have an easy-to-read format and offer a clean and clear overview of the messages. It’s easier to see important travel or shopping information when you open Alto.
  • To make things even simpler, you don’t even have to click and open a message. You can zoom in the inbox and you’ll have an easy access to part of its content.
  • The Dashboard will give you easy access to the Cards by showing first the most relevant.

As many other email clients, Alto also blocks images and offers the possibility to manually select if you want to view a picture or not. Alto doesn’t seem to support media queries so email marketers are not so happy about this. Optimizing their emails for mobile is another challenge with Alto.

Maybe the most challenging thing for Alto is to have the right algorithm that can stack messages in the right place, without mixing them up. At least for now, they rely on their consumers to report such problems. Alto is free and up for grabs so you can try it too.

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