Google shut down Inbox by Gmail, also known as Google Inbox, back in 2019. It was a popular alternative app for Gmail, which organized your email, tasks, and other data into categorized sections instead of a plain chronological list. A few email applications have replicated Inbox’s features in the years since it shut down, but one of the best Inbox clones yet now has a completed Android app.
Shortwave was first announced in 2022 as an email client developed by former Google employees, which aimed to replicate the design and features of the now-dead Inbox by Gmail application. The app is available on iPhone, the web (for desktop computers), and Android devices. The Android app has been in beta for a while, and now it has reached the long-awaited version 1.0 milestone after 18 months of development.
Shortwave organizes your email into separated bundles, based on categories like updates, promotions, newsletters, purchases, and finance. You can also create your own bundles based on labels, contacts, or Gmail filters, so if you really want to dig into it, you can sort your email exactly how you want. You can also set up delivery schedules to change when a bundle arrives in your inbox — for example, you could have all your newsletters appear at the same time each week. You can also pin important emails to the top of your inbox or bundle, and display them like to-do items.
The official announcement says, “Our goal from day one has been to build a professional email app optimized for stress-free productivity. We think Google’s Inbox app was one of the best email productivity tools ever made, so we used its best features as a starting point for Shortwave. On top of those, we’ve added a comprehensive set of new productivity, automation, and AI features to give you a powerful, productive, and most importantly, stress-free emailing experience.”
Besides sorting your email and treating it more like a to-do list, Shortwave has most of the other features you would expect from a modern email client. You can schedule emails to be sent or undo them, block tracking pixels and other similar elements in emails, unsubscribe or block senders in one click, and an optional dark mode. Since it’s 2023 and everything needs to have AI, there is also a button to generate an AI summarization of any email thread.
You can download Shortwave from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, and the desktop version is at app.shortwave.com. There is a free version with a 90-day limit on searchable emails, and searching through all your emails will cost $9 per month.