Shortwave, an Email App Once Like Google’s Old Inbox, Arrives on Android


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The group of us may be shrinking as years pass, but there are apparently still a number of folks like me who will never forgive Google for killing off Inbox, the greatest email app of all time. And because there still appears to be a market for email enthusiasts who like a simpler inbox, without all of the clutter, and that has some smart bundling or archiving features, apps like Shortwave will continue to pop up.

Shortwave is not really a new service any longer, as it has had web and iOS apps for some time, but it did officially launch its Android app today.

Before we get into the app, do you want to know more about what Shortwave is? No? Shush, you do too.

Shortwave was started by former Googlers who have now created an email app that is “decentralized and secure,” that “respects your time and privacy,” and might make email “not even feel like email to you.” It’s a pretty clean email app that wants you to get to inbox zero by shifting emails around through snoozing, completing tasks, pinning items to do, and dismissing regularly. There’ also lots of “AI” going on because it’s 2023. At the beginning of the year, Shortwave called itself “the best Inbox by Gmail replacement.”

I know that’s an overly¬†techie way to describe an email app, so I’ll just say this – it’s quite minimal, fast, and still carries forward a lot of ideas from the old Inbox. You can quickly unsubscribe to stuff, block people with ease, schedule sends, undo sends, search for all the stuff, and get email summaries from that AI I mentioned.

It should be noted that Shortwave once was very close to the old Inbox experience, at least on the web. However, the web app changed earlier this year to include this obnoxious side tab/multi-panel view instead of a single inline inbox with email threads that Inbox was sort of known for. It essentially pushed me out of using it because I like an inline inbox. There are a million email apps with multi-panel views, including regular ol’ Gmail.

Also, Shortwave is technically free and the free version gives you searches as far back as 90 days. If you need longer search, you can pay $9/mo.

Now, as for the Android app, it is leaving a rough beta into stable today. This is Shortwave 1.0 for Android and so far it seems OK. It’s really minimal and clean, which we love. It reminds me a lot of the Newton app that was once great before its new owners destroyed it from within. The Shortwave Android app is weirdly nothing like the iOS app too, but that might not matter to you.

Anyone a Shortwave user? You can find more info at the Shortwave site.

Google Play Link: Shortwave



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