One of the better mobile email applications to emerge in recent months is Acompli, an app designed for business and professional users looking for a simple, but powerful tool to manage their email, calendar, and shared files while on the go. Today, the company is bringing its app to Android users, while also launching a new feature called “Focused Inbox,” which is similar to Gmail’s “Priority Inbox” functionality, in that it curates your mail in order to show you what’s most important first.
With the upgrade out now on the iOS version, and the debut of Android, Focused Inbox will be turned on by default.
Explains Acompli CEO Javier Soltero, the goal with the new feature was to create an inbox experience that “immediately starts delivering value” and “doesn’t rely on an excessive triage mechanism,” which is a none-too-veiled reference to the popular mobile email app Mailbox, now owned by Dropbox. Where Mailbox has been built primarily to help people work through their massive inboxes, Acompli instead wants to just put the email you need to see first right in front of you.
A comprehensive review of how well Acompli’s Focused Inbox works isn’t really possible at this time because email curation and prioritization like this takes more than a few days of training before you can really tell how smart a company’s algorithms can become.
However, it seemed to at least not be showing any obvious mistakes when I first tried it.
Unlike Gmail’s Priority Inbox (an alternative setting for those who don’t care for the tabbed interface), which takes into account user actions, like whether you read an email, Acompli tries to determine whether or not you’re actually responding the person in question.
If you do, those emails have more weight than others, allowing it to do more than just remove the obvious pseudo-spam, like email newsletters or social updates, from the Focused view.
Your full inbox is still available, of course – you just pulled down on the main screen and tap the button labeled “Other” to see the rest of your email. And if you don’t care for the new experience, you can disable it in your settings.
But when it’s enabled, by default, you’ll only receive push notifications for your “Focused” messages, and the app’s icon will only display a red badge for the unread items in this part of your inbox. More importantly, perhaps, to email purists, is that none of what Acompli’s doing to re-arrange your email will be reflected in your main email client itself – it’s just giving you a more actionable mobile view.
The addition is one of many new features Acompli has added in recent weeks, having also rolled out integrations with cloud services like Dropbox, iCloud, and OneDrive, in addition to its support of email services like Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook.com and Exchange.
Though the company declines to say how many users are now on Acompli, early data shows it’s a very “burst-y” app used for short periods of time, we’re told. The average user session is just 22 seconds, but retention is high, ranging from 43% to 44%, on average. The app is also used 11 times more frequently than the average productivity app, even though users are spending but a few seconds in it – likely looking for a specific email or file, or writing a quick message or response.
Focused Inbox fits in well with that established pattern of being an app where users just want to get in then get back out quickly.