Three ways Geronimo will change how you deal with your email

This new email app uses swipes, taps and flicks of the wrist to turn clearing your inbox into a game.

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Editors' note, August 27, 2015: Geronimo is now live in the Apple App Store to download.

Digging through your inbox is hardly the most fun activity of your day. A new email app called Geronimo is using gestures, like flicks and swipes, to change that. It's launching August 27 for free for iOS and works with Gmail (other email services will be added in a future update).

Geronimo is different than any other email app I've encountered. It uses inventive and fun movements to read, delete and organize your inbox, and lets you customize how your emails are displayed. Plus, there are also tons of extra features accessible with a swipe or flick of the wrist.

The app was built by ex-Apple, Google and Path developers who set out to build something very different than the Mail app that comes with your iPhone or iPad. Ahead of its debut, CNET got an early look to see why you might want to switch to Geronimo and we found three ways it can change how you conquer your inbox.

1. Delete, archive and read faster

Swipes, taps and flicks are the stars of Geronimo; these gestures are designed to help you zip through your inbox quickly. Like any other app, you tap messages to open them. But when you're viewing an email, you can flick your phone forward or backward to move to the next one.

If you're reading an email that's part of a thread of messages, you can swipe left and right to see the responses in that thread. This is different Gmail or Inbox, both of which stack the messages on top of each other, where you have to scroll up and down to read them.

To delete or archive messages, flick them towards the corners of your screen. Click to enlarge. Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

My favorite Geronimo feature is the gesture to delete and archive messages. You do this by tapping an email and swiping it toward the corners of the screen. It's almost like a game, where you can quickly fling a message to get rid of it, and you can select multiple messages at once.

Each corner of the screen has an assigned action; archive is at the bottom left, delete is the bottom right, top left adds a label and top right adds the message to the to-do list. Over in settings, you can customize what these hot corners do.

The more you use the app, you'll unlock advanced features, like one that lets you flick your phone to send emails to a hot corner and the ability to flick your phone to switch dates. You'll also be able to archive all emails from a specific date with a simply swipe.

2. Organize messages the way you want

The Geronimo inbox shows your emails in columns organized by date and you swipe left and right to switch the days. If you archive or delete all of the messages in a column it will collapse to take up less space. You can also simply tap any column, empty or not, to hide it.

If you'd rather not view your emails by date, tap and hold the timeline at the top to transform your inbox into a single list. Repeat that process to toggle back to the date view. I like that I have both options, though while playing around with app, I prefer the date view.

You can view your emails organized by date (left), or see them in a single list. Click to enlarge. Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Unlike other inboxes where messages are only ordered by time, Geronimo lets you move around messages in each day, organizing them anyway you want. Just tap and toss a message up and down the list to rearrange it.

Another great organization tool are the two built-in filters for your inbox, Robots and Humans. The former shows only messages sent by computer, like a marketing email or an auto-reply, while the latter displays the opposite -- emails from real people, like friends and family. You can have Geronimo automatically shrink Robot messages, so they take up less space in the inbox.

3. Personalize your experience

Geronimo has several features that let you customize how the app looks and works. First, you can assign a photo for each sender, so you can quickly glance through your inbox and identify messages. The app will prompt you to do this when you first start using it and it'll even suggest photos to use by searching the Web for the sender's name.

At the top of your inbox, you can set VIP contacts that you can email with one tap, just like speed dial. Those VIP contacts also appear on the compose screen alongside frequently contacted addresses. Just swipe right to reveal them.

Geronimo also has a photo editor, where you can draw on and add text to image before you send them as an attachment. Furthermore, you can filter your inbox to only show emails with attachments, to help you find what you need.

Extras

Geronimo has plenty more features, including cloud storage support so you can attach files from iCloud, Google Drive and Dropbox. There's also a built-in calendar, search and support for the Apple Watch.

Despite its long list of cool features, the app isn't perfect. In my testing, I encountered a few bugs -- such as emails not loading in my inbox and the search tool not turning up results -- but I was working with a beta version of the app, so I'm giving Geronimo the benefit of the doubt. These issues, I'm told by the developers, will be remedied by the time the app is available for all.

Issues aside, I'm taken by Geronimo's unique, engaging and, dare I say, fun approach to reading and managing my inbox, which can be an otherwise tedious chore. If you want to a better way to deal with your email, or specifically searching for an alternative to your current email app choice, this free app is worth a download.

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