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This free app is a fantastic alternative to Google’s game-changing email app ‘Inbox’

Published Oct 24th, 2014 9:30AM EDT
Google Inbox Download
Image: Pinary Inc.

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Rumors swirled last year suggesting that Google was trying to acquire email startup Mailbox, but all that came to an end when Mailbox was acquired by Dropbox. So, Google decided to build its own Mailbox. Unveiled and released earlier this week, “Inbox” is Google’s new email app that has tech bloggers buzzing, once again heralding a fresh take on email as a game-changer. We have used the app ourselves and there’s no question that Google has done a terrific job so far of aping many of the best features from Mailbox and dumping them into a gorgeous interface with some great new features.

Inbox is an early beta and it still has a long way to go before it can be considered a complete email solution, and for the time being it only works with personal Gmail accounts. Also, the service is accessible only by invite, though invitations are fairly easy to come by (go here and click the link in the top right corner to request an invite).

Are you looking for a similar solution that’s even more comprehensive and works with a wider range of email services? We might have just the app you’re searching for.

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Mobile app developer Pinary Inc first release its email app Envelope (stylized as “Eπvelope” or referred to by the developer as “Pi Envelope”) back in April this year. In its latest iteration, the app offers a unique and comprehensive take on email management that had some of Inbox’s best features long before Inbox even existed.

The free iPhone and iPad app also makes fantastic use of the new Today widget functionality in iOS 8 and iOS 8.1.

Envelope includes features like email bundling/clustering, organization by attachment, email groups, reminders, voice memos, filters and even the ability to scribble notes by hand. Another terrific feature alerts you automatically when you have an important email you haven’t yet replied to or if you haven’t yet received a reply to an important email that you sent.

We tested the app and while it’s still a bit rough around the edges in some areas, the user interface is great and the feature set will definitely be a game-changer for some users.

Envelope’s full description is below along with a link to download the app.

FROM EARLIER: How I destroyed email

Powerful mail app with filtered inbox,intelligent clustering, attachment access, reminders, response tracking, handwritten and picture signatures, groups, voice memo, scribble, Dropbox.

“…I went through, just about, every email app in the store and stuck with this one…”

“…Conservatively, this app has reduced my mail handling time by 60%…”

“…It will probably be the last one you ever tryout, because you’re going to finally see what you’ve been wanting and missing all along…”

Filters provide different views into your communications
– Important
– Important Subscriptions: Those which you read most often
– New Senders: Identifies first time or infrequent senders. Great to identify new leads or customers
– Not Replied: Important emails you have not yet replied to
– No Reply Received: Emails you have sent but not received a response
– Unprocessed Today: Unread today, Reminders for Follow up sorted by Importance
– Recently Viewed

Intelligently groups together related mails such as Subscriptions, Bills, Financial Alerts, Discount Offers, …

You can Move to a Folder, Delete or Archive multiple clusters (e.g. you can select 2 clusters and move/delete/archive 19 emails)

Shows progress of emails processed in your device’s Today view. (iOS 8 Only)

Almost 80% of your email can be processed by simply looking at the subject/sender and deleting it. Envelope makes this easy by letting you delete emails with just 1-tap instead of swiping and then deleting.

You can also flag or mark a mail as unread with one tap.

Directly browse and download Files, Photos, Videos as if browsing a list of files.

Add reminders to follow up on mail with helpful time options.

Important emails that you have not received a reply to or those you have not replied are automatically tracked.

Organize contacts into Groups for sending, filtering emails & notifications

View automatically determined important contacts. For each contact, see the emails exchanged or files & media exchanged. Use it as a lightweight CRM tool.

Create emails with formatted text, bulleted lists, voice memos, freehand scribbles or marked up images.

Attach audio recording, freehand drawing and annotate images.

* Send large attachments using Dropbox.
* Send URLs to files in Dropbox.

Sign off with your unique Handwritten or Image signature.

View or Create folders. Move emails or multiple email Clusters. Since clusters contain multiple related emails, you can move all related emails by just movie clusters.

Important emails (& attachments) can be packaged and saved to a supported app (e.g. Dropbox,OneDrive,Drive,…)

* Passcode
* Gmail Aliases (Send as a different email)
* In-app browsing of links within email lets you stay within the context of your email

Gmail, Google Apps, Yahoo, iCloud,, live).

All your email data is fetched and stored only on your local device and never transferred to another cloud/server.

Download Envelope

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.