Tipbit is a smart mobile email inbox launching in the next few weeks that surfaces social networks, calendars and documents related to the topic or person who is the subject of the correspondence.
In a phone call yesterday, CEO Gordon Mangione said the service is designed to integrate with calendars and email clients. With permissions, it queries Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and will also ping Dropbox if you have an account. More services will be added in the future. For now, the focus is on the major providers for purposes of robustness.
Mangione said Tipbit indexes data according to the name of the person, the topic, keywords in the email and other related information. He calls it a form of gravitational search. Email data has significant mass so moving it does not make sense. Instead, Tipbit finds the data, analyzes it and returns relevant results.
Tipbit will initially be available as an iPhone app. An Android app is in development. The website has a sign-up for people who want to join the beta.
Email apps are popping up more often as the methods for visualizing and organizing data gets easier to develop. Dropbox acquired Mailbox for $100 million and Yahoo! acquired Xobni for $30 million. There are email clients that turn your email into art or give it a product management edge. Streak is a CRM app that embeds GMail. There are many more.
What I like about Tipbit is what it does in the background. It knows what data to surface. Here’s the problem, though. The email user interface was awesome for 1997, but today it is just awkward with all the information that people manage. Mangione said developing a UI for filtering is a challenge and something Tipbit is still developing. That’s the common problem with email. Everyone uses it but the system is also a trap that often smothers the information we really need.