Fluent is a web-based wrapper for your Gmail account that clearly takes cues from the much-loved (and sorely missed, by some) Tweetie Twitter client and the much-loved (and still very much alive) Sparrow mail app.
Tweetie brought the “streamified” look to the Mac desktop, using a layout with a column of simple icons on the left and clear, uncluttered content panes on the right.
Sparrow applied the same look to email, with great success. But Sparrow is Mac-only software; now Fluent takes the same approach and a similar design concept, to any web browser on any computer.
Does it work in Safari on an iPad? I just tried the demo account and yeah, it seemed to work pretty well.
Fluent is the work of three Australian former Googlers who quit the company in frustration after Google+ predecessor Wave got axed, according to [an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald. They say email is “stagnant”, and want to build a tool that makes processing email messages much faster.
The result merges those design ideas from Tweetie and Sparrow with something rather like Facebook, with a sprinkling of Twitter for iPad thrown in. Messages appear as a stream, replies are mostly written inline, attachments are aggregated in a tab of their own for easy browsing. It looks pretty neat.
The site is in closed beta right now, but if you’re interested, you can add your name to the list for an invite by clicking the Sign up button.
(Via Hacker News)