Over the years, several startups have promised to reinvent email just to fall short. Even the radical re-imagination of Google, the Inbox app finally closed stores last year. Today, another company is announcing its plans to build a better inbox. Edison Software is preparing to launch OnMail, a new e-mail service that allows you to control who enters your inbox. This is addressed through a new blocking feature called Permission Control. The service is also introducing a number of other improvements, such as automatic read receipt and tracker blocking, support for large attachments, fast delivery and more.
Edison already houses the popular third-party email application, Edison Mail, which has seen approximately 9 million installations to date, according to Sensor Tower.
Edison Mail was designed to work with your existing email, such as email from Gmail, Yahoo, Microsoft or iCloud, for example, among others. OnMail, however, is a new email service in which users will receive their own email account on @ onmail.com when the product launches later this summer.
At launch, the web version of OnMail will work across multiple browsers. It will also work on existing Edison Mail apps for Mac, iOS and Android.
The biggest idea behind OnMail is to create a better spam and blocking system.
Although Gmail, Outlook.com and others today do a pretty decent job of automatically filtering out obvious spam and phishing attempts, our inboxes still remain clogged with invasive messages – newsletters, promotions, shopping catalogs, etc. We may even apply at some point. We can even try to unsubscribe, but we can’t get the messages to stop.
In other cases, there are people with our email address that we prefer to cut.
The last time Gmail faced this “clogged inbox” issue was in 2013 when it launched a redesigned inbox which separated promotions, updates and emails from its social media sites into separate tabs. The premise of OnMail is that we can completely ban these emails from the inbox, and not just relocate them.
OnMail’s “Permission Control” feature allows users to accept or decline a specific email address in order to be able to put emails in their inbox. This is a stronger feature than Edison Mail’s “Block Sender” or “Unsubscribe” as future emails from a declined sender will never reach your inbox – well, at least not in a visible way for you.
In technical terms, declined senders are being routed to a folder called “Blocked”. But that folder is not displayed anywhere in the user interface. Blocked emails will also not appear in Search. It really looks like the unwanted mail is gone. This is all done without any notification to the sender – be it a human or automated mailing list.
If you want to receive emails from blocked senders again, the only way to do that is to review a list of senders you have banned in the contacts section and make the change. You can’t just search a spam folder to resuscitate them.
In another update that puts the needs of the receiver above those of the sender, OnMail will remove all information sent from any invisible tracking pixel.
Today, most experienced email users know how to disable images in Gmail or other email applications that allow it, so that open emails are not tracked. But OnMail promises to remove this tracking without having to disable the images.
“We see pixel tracking as a terrible invasion of privacy and that is why we block all read receipts,” noted Edison Co-Founder and CEO, Mikael Berner. “The sender will never know that you opened the email,” he says.
Other promised features include an improved search experience with easy filtering tools, support for large attachments, faster delivery speed and more.
Edison says he has been working to develop OnMail for more than two years, after realizing how the broken email remains.
Today, adults in the U.S. still spend more than 5 hours a day in our inboxes and feel they have lost control. Tracking pixels and targeted ads are now common to the email experience. And looking for something specific requires complicated syntax. (Google also addressed this recently, adding filters to Gmail search – but only for G Suite users for now.)
It can be difficult for people who have settled for 10 or 20 years in the same inbox to make a switch. But there is always a new generation of email users to target, just like Gmail.
And now that Gmail has conquered the market with more than 1.5 billion active users, their innovations have declined. From time to time, Gmail stands out – as with 2018 Smart Compose Debut, for example – but largely considered the email problem resolved. A little competition is just what you need.
“We have invested years as a company that works to bring happiness back to the inbox,” Berner said in a statement. “OnMail was developed from the beginning to change the mail. No one should be afraid to give out their address or create multiple accounts to escape an overcrowded mailbox, ”he said.
OnMail’s premise looks interesting. However, your software is not yet active, so none of your claims can be tested at this time. But based on Edison’s history with its Edison Mail app, he has good control over the design and understanding of what features email users need.
Currently, OnMail is only open to registrations for those who want to claim their place on their platform first. As Gmail once did, OnMail will send invitations when the service is available. Unlike Gmail, OnMail will not be supported by ads, but will offer free and paid versions of its service.