Email hasn’t had much of a face lift since, well, ever. WeMail, Android’s newest email client which just went through a $1 million funding round this week from the founders of Reddit, Scribd, and Twitch, and has made it their mission to change the way users experience everyone’s favorite communication tool. “What we noticed is that email today was no different than email 10 years ago,” WeMail’s co-founder Phil Yuen said in an interview this month.
But the noise in the “redesigning email” space right now is overwhelming. Look at MyMail, Mailbox, and SeedMail. The last thing Android users need is another way to access their email. But WeMail has already stood out among the field.
“Our philosophy is that we don’t want to teach anybody anything new,” Yuen said, “You immediately get the benefits.”
WeMail organizes your email by people, not by messages. When users open up the app, they see conversations with their contacts, rather than a thread of junk mail and spam. With just a tap, users expand their individual contacts out into their recent threads with them. Responding to email on WeMail now feels more like texting or Facebook chat, rather than the traditional long-form response. And if both parties are using WeMail, the application actually shows when someone is typing, something never brought to email before.
“We want to organize your email in a way that makes sense on your mobile phone,” Yuen noted, “And that to us is organizing it around the sender.”
WeMail claims it can cut your inbox in half, often consolidating it down by 64%, as it claims on its website. Through side-by-side tests, WeMail has shown that the app saves the user 80% of their scrolling swipes and 33% fewer taps to get to the messages they need. But its compression system is smarter than just that. With just a tap users can filter by attachments, showing all the files and pictures sent to them by date apart from the email they came with.
Senders in a rush can also send a voice message to their contacts and voice search their inbox with a new hands free approach to email.
This week, WeMail completed a $1 million round of funding from their fellow Y Combinator alumni Twitch co-founders Justin Kan and Emmett Shear, Parse and Scribd co-founder Tikhon Bernstam, Flurry founder Sean Byrnes and Reddit and Hipmunk co-founder Steve Huffman.
“Email is like the worst thing in my life. It’s like I’ve given them permission to put something on my to do list without even verifying it,” said Reddit co-founder Steve Huffman, one of the prominent investors in WeMail. “Email is like a DoS against human productivity.”
Yuen mentioned his nerves about the likes of Google and Apple adopting some of the features pioneered by email startups like WeMail in their own applications in an interview earlier this week. Yuen says “I would be disappointed, but as an email user, I rejoice for email users around the world for that happening”.