While some are writing the eulogy for email, Erik Lukas has worked for the last two years trying to make it relevant again.
His mobile app, Geronimo, takes its first public leap Aug. 27 for iPhone and the Apple Watch with an interface that involves gestures and uses the four corners of an iPhone screen for quick and easy management of your email.
It launches for Gmail users only, but Lukas’ Jumpin Labs is working on updates so Geronimo will bea able to support other email providers.
“Email has been under-innovated for a long time,” Lukas said in an interview with Cult of Mac. “It hasn’t been given the full attention and reworked so that it can be relevant for mobile users.”
In the weeks leading up to its debut on iTunes, Lukas was not content with the usual press kit of screenshots and video tutorials. He traveled to meet personally with tech journalists, his three iPhones in tow, to demonstrate how Geronimo works.
Gmail through Geronimo is quantified on a horizontal timeline with easy swipes of the finger to scroll between days. Identify an important email, or even a stack of them, and long-press to pick them up and easily drag or flick to the top or send to one of the four corners of the screen. One corner can be set to archive, another for trash, while the other two are customizable, for labels like work and personal. You can even do your sorting with the snap of a wrist.
Robot emails are identified by a robot head icon; attachments, like pictures or documents, appear in the main timelines so you can quickly find them. You can also sort all the attachments you’ve received by sender.
On Apple Watch, Geronimo users can compose or reply to Gmails as well as search.
“If we did our job right, people will be disappointed in returning to a traditional email interface,” Lukas said.
Lukas said a user will be able to sort and “triage” emails immediately, but will likely need about a week to get comfortable with all the advanced functions. Once the app is activated, it will ask to access a user’s Gmail and then walk them through simple steps to begin using. There is also a tips and tricks section in the app so users can get familiar with all the functions.
Lukas works with a team of 12 engineers with a variety of experience. Jumpin Labs has engineers from Gmail and Sparrow Mail, Yammer and Microsoft, plus a couple are game developers (hence, some of the interactive features — plus really cool sounds that accompany the actions). One team member was part of a group of engineers who first developed drag-and-drop software, Lukas said.
Jumpin Labs is building a version for iPad and working with IMAP providers. Eventually, an Android app will be built. Lukas is itching to reinvent the calendar for mobile users.
No doubt, his inbox will be flooded with messages in the coming weeks.