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Jubii: e-mail plus everything else

Jubii combines e-mail, file sharing, VoIP calling, and IM in one solution. But does it work?

Jubii is a new service that attempts to provide an all-in-one solution for Web communication and sharing. It combines e-mail, contact management, instant messaging, VoIP, and file hosting into one app. The big question is, whether combining these things together provides a cohesive solution that's better than individual Web services. In short, the answer is no.

Jubii centers around its e-mail platform, which uses a simple tabbed interface with two separate in-boxes. E-mails from people on your approved contact list automatically get sent to your private box, whereas others make their way straight to the public. Creating new e-mails is fairly easy, but there's no way to search through old messages. Instead Jubii uses tags, which is great for photos, just not with words. Assuming you're willing to tag every piece of mail or correspondence you get, it might work, but that's quite an assumption and will never work as well as full contextual searching like you get with Google's Gmail.

Jubii's other hook is as a file sharing service. You're given 4GB of free storage as your own virtual drive (10GB if you're one of the first million to sign up). You can share these files with other Jubii members or send a download link to non-Jubii members via e-mail.

The IM client in Jubii looks fairly straightforward, but it wasn't turned on for our testing account. It's all based around a contact list, which is linked to your e-mail. Like Google's Gmail Talk client and Yahoo IM, your buddy list resides in the corner and provides status icons for Jubii users when they're online. If you don't feel like typing, there is a built-in VoIP telephony service. It can be accessed from your e-mail in-box and provides free landline to landline telephone calls during the beta.

Jubii is an interesting idea but essentially it's been done before either by other e-mail services or Web file storage companies, just not in one place. Jubii wants you to give up your current services for them, but there's a lack of cohesion, which makes it a tough sell. With collaborations like Zoho and Omnidrive, and Google increasingly integrating Web services, it's hard to imagine switching to something that doesn't already tie into half a dozen tools. Maybe Jubii will get like that someday, but it's not there yet.

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