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Mobile Apps

Cannonball email client comes to iPhone

Previously for iPad only, this smart mail-manager automatically separates the wheat from the chaff.

Cannonball puts important unread mail up top, but also lets you browse subscription mail in a separate view. Screenshots by Rick Broida/CNET

Last December, I suggested that Cannonball might be the best iPad email client yet. Just one problem: It left out iPhone users.

That changed today with the introduction of Cannonball for iPhone, which shrinks the app to handset size but many of the cool features intact.

Cannonball can fetch mail from AOL, Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook, and Yahoo. Support for Exchange and custom IMAP accounts? In the works.

The app's primary form of prestidigitation is automatically sorting your inbox. Subscriptions, newsletters, daily-deal messages, and other unimportant stuff is automatically marked as read and sifted into a special bin that appears below unread mail.

In other words, your inbox is arranged thusly:

  1. Important mail you haven't yet read
  2. A side-scrolling thumbnail list of subscription mail
  3. Mail you've read

Across the top there's also an insanely handy swipeable toolbar of inbox shortcuts: Unread, Flagged, Attachments, Purchases, Finance, Travel, etc.

Want to send someone a photo? Just tap the camera icon, snap your picture, and then choose one or more recipients. You can even draw simple markups on the image before sending.

There's definitely a bit of a learning curve here, especially when it comes to dragging and dropping messages (specifically, where you're supposed to drop them). But the most important elements are there, like swiping one way to mark as read/unread or the other to archive/delete.

Bottom line: If you're tired of subscription-mail overload, Cannonball will blast it into oblivion. Amazingly, it's free, and therefore definitely worth a look.