A group of ex-Dropbox and MIT alums have launched Inbox, titled the next-generation e-mail platform. The startup has been in stealth mode for quite a while now. Inbox will empower e-mail app developers with a new set of APIs that will help them build better e-mail apps with access to users’ inboxes.
Google had earlier introduced Gmail API at its annual developer conference Google I/O last month. Unlike Google which can only support Gmail, Inbox will support Gmail, Yahoo, and Microsoft Exchange, while promising support for several others in the coming few months.
The website which further explains Inbox claims that the company is not built around advertising like in the case of Google. The product for Inbox is “e-mail” itself, and the company is an e-mail company. It claims that they will not discontinue their product, much like Google does with most of its beta products.
The Gmail API was introduced to enable developers to build e-mail applications. The API will allow access to messages, labels, threats, and other significant parts of Gmail functionality without actually needing any complete user inbox access. Inbox has set out to do something similar, but in its own way, and with support for more e-mail accounts.
However both the companies may be solving the same problem — putting older protocols like the IMAP at bay from developers. The older formats and protocols weren’t designed with the idea of being implemented on a mobile interface or functionality. Therefore modern app developers need more than just the basic set of services.
Inbox is looking to create a new richer e-mail standard instead. The company plans to offer its infrastructure as an open source package. The Inbox sync engine is available on GitHub for free. The open source sync engine is currently working with Gmail and Yahoo mail but support is likely expected sooner for other e-mail services. Even enterprise users can use Inbox as it supports ActiveSync.
Image source: Same as above