Shortmail iPhone app well-intentioned, but inessential

Dec 16, 2011
Tech

I think I understand the idea behind Shortmail — it’s a way to force quick, simple communications a la Twitter, but specifically to your email contacts. That goal seems well-intentioned, but ultimately kind of useless. After all, if people want to send a short email, they’ll just send a short email. Creating a separate service […]

I think I understand the idea behind Shortmail — it’s a way to force quick, simple communications a la Twitter, but specifically to your email contacts. That goal seems well-intentioned, but ultimately kind of useless.

After all, if people want to send a short email, they’ll just send a short email. Creating a separate service specifically to prevent a longer email from being created seems unnecessary and a little irritating.

That’s kind of a shame because otherwise, Shortmail has a sleek design that I enjoy using. Individual email threads are listed like tweets, and they can be opened so you can view the entire back-and-forth conversation.

Composing a shortmail is similarly simplified, with only a To: field and the message field. Like Facebook’s messages before it, Shortmail has done away with the subject line, which isn’t something I like personally, but I understand I might be in the minority on that. If nothing else, it leaves Shortmail clutter-free.

As much as I appreciate the individual features of this app, I can’t think of a good reason to actually use it. I already tweet my close friends, email business contacts, and text people if I need to write extremely short messages. I have no desire to add another messaging platform to my life, I barely tolerate talking on the phone as it is.

If you find yourself dying for a new way to communicate with your email contacts, Shortmail is well-designed and easy to use, but I don’t think it provides a particularly unique service.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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