So you are tied of a ton of mail in your inbox but you can’t deal with it faster that its coming is? No problem. Although I would “select all” the delete the whole to catch up you may want to take a less destructive route. Enter the new email app Zero. It claims it can help you reach a state of “inbox zero”. This may be some new Zen state or an altered reality that’s new on the scene so let’s take the red pill and dive into this mysterious thing and see what’s what.
Zero claims to increase email processing by 30% or more so we are starting off with some pretty big words. The application is mobile so we have that going for us. Right off the bat it is clear that the app is converting traditional emails into a more modern social media interface. Imagine instead of scrolling through you inbox you are scrolling down a Twitter feed. In fact Zeros CEO Alexander Volkov said that the apps primary purpose is to turn all emails into a feed that can be consumed extremely fast. Using a swipe anyone can go through their email and manage the messages quickly. Also remember this may not be a big deal on a desktop but on mobile devices going through a busy inbox can suck beyond the telling of it. This new vertical perspective with more info in the headers may very well be the answer.
This type of view is almost diametrically opposed to other similar apps available. The other guys want to give the user a bird’s eye view with just the sender and part of a subject line. Under normal conditions this may be enough, but in a hammered inbox on a tiny screen this requires way too many screen taps and dragging around. Zero really does make this a lot easier and if you use it too much the traditional email layout will become tiresome.
Zero presents information card-style which gives immediate access to message summaries without clicking through various menus, and it is text only so you get just the information you need to make a decision on what to do with a given message. Although one would think this style would force the user to spend more time on each message this isn’t the case. Messages are consumed a great deal faster then moved to another folder immediately. Swiped messages are automatically archived.
From the initial feed you can move a message to another folder, tap it to keep it in the inbox, or reply to it directly. There are also easy to use buttons that let you view archived messages, folders, and then back to your inbox in a flash. Although email attachments are not presented in the default view, they are available to be clicked on and viewed within the app.
Zero is a little addictive and when I return to my desktop inbox I miss the sleek social media style interface it offers. This app is going to take off, and although its target audience is heavy email mobile users it is likely other market segments are going to jump onboard.