Hybrid Shortmail iPhone app pairs email with Twitter

Dec 8, 2011
Tech

If Twitter’s 140-character limit is too short for your verbosity, but you want a capped-character limit to ensure your message remains effective, then Shortmail might be the service you’re looking for. I signed up for the service back in July, but the company just launched its app Shortmail for iPhone and iPod Touch. Shortmail works […]

If Twitter’s 140-character limit is too short for your verbosity, but you want a capped-character limit to ensure your message remains effective, then Shortmail might be the service you’re looking for. I signed up for the service back in July, but the company just launched its app Shortmail for iPhone and iPod Touch.

Shortmail works with your existing Twitter account — that means: no Twitter, no Shortmail — but there’s no restrictions on whom you can message. As long as the recipient has a valid email address, you can send Shortmail. What Shortmail does restrict is the amount of characters you can send and receive to 500.

Shortmail requires iOS 5, which allows the app to automatically register your Twitter handle for the service if you have it integrated with native Twitter. I found this to be convenient, but it will sign up (or log in to, if you’ve already registered) all of your linked accounts, so make sure you’re using the right one when you enter the app.

No, I don’t need another email address, but having my Twitter handle @shortmail.com is a nice alternative to sending DMs when you’re a) not following each other or b) have too much to say in 140 characters. I also find Shortmail useful in situations where a company on Twitter wants me to send an email about something. Instead of using my regular email, I can turn to Shortmail instead. Shortmail integrates with your existing address book and if you assume your followers also sign up for the service, then you can simply email a Twitter handle.

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The Shortmail app offers a clean interface, and new messages arrive with a push notification attached. When you compose a Shortmail, pull down on the screen to display options, like changing the subject line (the default is “A Shortmail from your name”) and privacy options — you can set each message to be public, private or open. Public messages are viewable by anyone, while open messages allow anyone to add their two cents to the conversation. Group messages are also possible through Shortmail.

Shortmail is free, and if you’re already a Twitter user, it’s a service that could work to enhance your communication experience.

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