Shortwave is a very recent, but very interesting Gmail client. Here are five good reasons to get started, or at least try it.
As dominant as Gmail may be in the market for email services and clients, it’s not perfect – and there are plenty of third-party apps built on top of Gmail that can give you an improved experience. One of the new arrivals is called Shortwave. It is developed by a team including former Google employees who worked on Firebase. Like the late Inbox by Gmail, it is based on Gmail, allowing you to switch from one to the other very easily, at will.
This new service also incorporates certain features of Inbox, such as the grouping of emails into specific types. The goal, here, is to modernize email with bits of Slack and Trello too. We have selected five main reasons to try it. And it’s that much easier since Shortwave is free, unless you need advanced features for teams or more than 90 days for search and email history.
1. Emails are treated as tasks
Many users use their email inbox as a to-do list. So it only makes sense that Shortwave would go this route. Emails and conversations can be marked as “done” in the interface and you can see all your messages “done” by clicking on the “Done” link in the navigation panel. A little extra that can greatly improve your productivity.
You’ll also see the little checkmarks in the corner of emails and email groups, so you can mark multiple pages of messages as done at once. Once done, they disappear from the main view, but you can always bring them back. It’s a bit like marking emails as read and archiving them.
2. Group multiple emails together
One of the best features of Shortwave, carried over from Inbox by Gmail, is the grouping of emails – this works by sender (all messages sent from the same address are kept together) and sometimes by type of email (notifications diary, for example) – and that nothing the organization cleaner and more intuitive.
You also have some level of control over how this option works going to the settings page and the app borrows the categories Gmail already uses (promotions, forums, notifications, etc.) to keep your inbox clean. Working channel messages can also be aggregated, but you can disable aggregation altogether.
3. The focus is on people
As soon as you connect Shortwave to your Google account, you’ll see a list of people – these are the contacts you interact with most regularly in Gmail – so you can see at a glance who you’re chatting with and from. have unread messages – the names in bold -.
This people-centric approach makes a real difference, encouraging you to see your email account more like an instant messaging service. Instead of a mass of emails coming in, you see a list of people you’re having ongoing conversations with, and you can easily jump to the most important conversations.
4. You can fine-tune notifications
Receiving irrelevant emails in your inbox is one problem, but having notifications for those irrelevant messages is another. Being similarly notified for a very important message coming in is a sign that email isn’t quite working as it should. This is an issue that Shortwave is trying to fix.
When you log into the service for the first time ever on the web, you can click the Start Setup button under Customize your inbox to define how emails are organized and which ones should trigger notifications. You can choose particular types of emails as well as messages that the Gmail algorithm has marked as important.
5. Workspaces and channels are supported
Apps like Slack and Discord have transformed our digital communication habits, and many of us are now completely comfortable chatting in channels. If you’ve never used one, they’re like group chats where you can collaborate, organize events, chat about anything and everything, and it’s all built right into Shortwave.
Channels exist in workspaces and you will see a dedicated link on the left side of the Shortwave interface on the web. Everything works just like in Slack or Discord, with support for threads, links, and file shares. Threads can also appear in your inbox if you want. For advanced workspace features, however, a paid subscription to Shortwave is required.