WeMail is the newest app trying to fix your overwhelmed and overcrowded inbox. The free service, which launched today, uses a few organizational tricks to corral your inbox and gives you a new way to respond to messages -- using your voice. It's available now for Android, with an iOS app coming soon.
WeMail has a friendly design and support for Google, Outlook, Yahoo and AOL emails. Like most email apps, you get a single inbox with all of your messages, but WeMail organizes it a bit differently. Instead of seeing a long list of messages from your boss, mother, bank and favorite stores, all of those messages are neatly grouped together by sender, no matter when they arrive in your inbox. For grouped emails, you can tap the arrow to expand all of the messages from that sender.
Not only does it make your inbox look less chaotic, that setup is especially helpful for when you get several marketing emails from the same company. That's because you can select and delete all of the messages at once, instead of selecting each message.
Another way WeMail helps organize your inbox is by filtering out social updates and promotional emails, just like Gmail and Google Inbox do. Those messages will disappear from your inbox and instead live in a separate folder hidden away in the app's menu.
Just like other email clients, WeMail has a search engine. You can dig through emails, contacts and attachments for any keyword and it finds results quickly, highlighting your search term so you can see it. There's also a tab in the app where you can view all of the attachments you've received on a single page, grouped by date and with the sender's email address.
One other extra is that you can use WeMail to send notes to yourself, for reminders or other things you want to remember. This sends an email to yourself which shows up in your inbox as "Note to Self." While the idea is smart, the note just clutters my inbox and that message shows up in other places I check my email.
The biggest missing feature for me, especially when using a Gmail address, is that you cannot report messages as spam. That's something Inbox, Gmail and many other mobile email apps can do.
One of the hallmarks of WeMail is that you can respond to any email with a recorded voice message up to 20 seconds long, called a Voice Note. As soon as you're finished recording, the message is sent, so unfortunately, there's no room for error. If the recipient uses WeMail, they can listen to the message instantly, or if they use another email service, the voice recording is sent as an audio file that anyone can download and listen to. This is a relatively unique feature that you won't find in other email apps, and it does make sending a reply a lot of faster. However, it's not a convenient feature for anyone who receives the voice message and doesn't use WeMail.
Another perk of the app is that email replies are sent as instant messages to other people who use the app. That means you don't need to refresh your inbox to see a reply, it just appears. However, this only works between two WeMail apps -- if you use the app and your friend uses something else, you replies are sent as a regular email.
WeMail joins the ranks of many other email apps trying to improve how you deal with an endless stream of messages. While it has a clean design and modern features, it'll have a tough time competing with the plethora of other powerful email apps out there, such as Google Inbox or Mailbox from Dropbox.
Its organizational approach is certainly helpful for keeping your inbox tidy, but seeing a list of emails by sender won't appeal to everyone. While the instant-message and voice-message responses are easy and quick, they aren't all that useful unless everyone else you're emailing is also using WeMail.