Inbox: Announcing an Open Source Platform for Email Applications

by Ostatic Staff - Jul. 09, 2014

For most of us, email remains a primary way to communicate and stay organized. In fact, it's so central to most of our work and play that it is surprising that there aren't more applications designed to work with email. That's the thinking behind a new startup called Inbox, which is developing an email platform to compete with old protocols like IMAP and SMTP. It will work with Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Microsoft Exchange and other platforms, and its core engine will reportedly be open source.

You can try Inbox by signing up here.  According to the Inbox site:

"Email is the database of your life. It's the digital home for your conversations, memories, and identity. But developing with email has become more and more difficult over the years. Old protocols and formats have made it nearly impossible to add the simplest features, and the existing mail providers have all but stopped innovating. In the current email landscape, captive users are shown targeted advertisements, and interfaces are cluttered with confusing “social” services."

"Today we're excited to announce the first step toward a new email platform. A new foundation built on open source technology that gives you control of your own data, on your own terms. It's a bridge from the past to the future— a clean slate with modern APIs."

The people behind Inbox are no slouches. According to The Next Web:

"The Inbox team is comprised mostly of MIT alumni. CEO Michael Grinich worked as an engineer at Dropbox and a designer at Nest, while co-founder Christine Spang previously worked on the Linux kernel at Ksplice. The firm’s seed investors include Fuel Capital, SV Angel, CrunchFund, Data Collective, and Betaworks."

Although it remains to be seen what this team will actually produce, one has to like the concept. Most of us have been heavy email users longer than we've been web users, and yet there aren't enough good tools for managing email.

Do you ever want to remember something and email it to yourself? If so, and you're using an online mail platform, you're basically opting for a cloud storage option on the fly. Email engines could provide us with more conveniences if there was more development around them. We'll check back in soon to see what the Inbox team comes up with.