According to TabTimes,
“A recent study showed just how much time iPad owners spend on email and it was a pretty startling figure given one true fact: email on iPad isn’t all that great.”
And Incredimail does little to mitigate the communication nightmare that has haunted us for more than two decades.
I don’t want to get off on the wrong foot with Perion, the creators of Incredimail, but I have to call it as I see it. The “study” mentoned in the TabTimes article is Perion’s own research. Not ideal. And there are plenty of independent studies concerning email use and how poor the experiences can be, especially if you care about business productivity.
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For businesses of all sizes, email is where knowledge goes to die. But I don’t get the sense that any mobile app-builders are paying close attention to workflows, processes, and the context of mobile workers, such that they can much headway solving the challenges of email as a core activity for all workers.
Steve Jobs would likely lump email in with many of the technology segments that he was begged to solve — email is an intractable problem that even if solved, is incapable of sustaining high profit margins.
Incredimail, as a consumer-focused app, actually provides a pretty nice experience.
Patterened after FlipBoard and other visually satisfying content experiences, it delivers a crisp and engaging view of your inbox. This is not a new idea; FileBoard created a near duplicate aproach more than a year ago. I’d link to them but I think they rejiggered the company and have given up on trying to change the email game. More evidence this is indeed an intractable problem.
Since the app is free in the app store, I won’t make this any longer than necessary. Download it and connect it to your email account and decide for yourself. It’s certainly worth a few minutes of your time.
For iPad business users, here are some points that you should be aware of.
- Markup in PDF documents will not display when previewing the PDF in the app. My clients and teams all use marked up PDFs so this is probably a showstopper for most.
- All delete options in the UX require repeated confirmation (i.e., two taps to delete one item). I expected to see a config option that would allow uses to bypass this additional step. For the average business user, this amounts to 30 hours of extra tapping per year. Imagine spending an entire vacation week tapping the confirmation delete button.
- Images in attached HTML documents do not render in preview mode.
- The photo inbox should ideally not be limited to Facebook. Why not allow all sorts of photo sources to be detected and utilized for this feature? Why not allow attachments to serve as thumbnails for better inbox visualizations.
- I’ve noticed a few crashes.
- Sometimes, refresh is very sluggish even on a 25+MBs connection.
There are seriously big opportunities to leverage gestures for great email productivity; MailBox has a few. Yet, Incredimail hasn’t scratched the surface. The designers rightly use swipe-down to display message options – a nice touch that we’ve seen with exquisite precision design in News360. However, even simple ideas such as swipe-right to archive, and swipe-left to delete, would be very helpful. Imagine swipe-hold provides options to file a message into a folder or schedule a reminder with the message content. These simple gestures could really improve productivity for business and non-business users in meaningful ways.
Perion’s own research (and lots of others) indicate that iPad is primarily a triage tool for email. I think this applies to consumers and business people alike. Its puzzling why they haven’t seized upon this data and built the interface to address the challenges of rapid triage.
Okay, so I have to say that overall, I like the app – it serves up a fairly good UX and the integration options seem reliable and simple to set up. But despite how close this app could be to meeting it’s own marketing hype (Email Gets an iPad Makeover), it’s not going to change much in the iPad business world unless it really steps up the level of innovation.
Just sayin’ …