If being heckled by your friends for using AOL makes you think you should get with the times, well, you’re right. But Alto, AOL’s rebooted attempt at relevance in today’s email provider market, looks to be downright useful. The formerly ubiquitous provider describes their newest web-based mail client as the result of frustration with “the status quo” (we would too — languishing in the hands of the elderly is never fun).
Alto’s purpose is not to replace your existing email provider, but instead to work in tandem with AOL, Gmail, Yahoo, or iCloud (and eventually every IMAP-based mail provider), simplifying and adding some much needed organization to your current set of email services. The cloud-based client sorts your mail — from up to five email accounts, if you’re a real busybody — in stacks, much like you would sort traditional mail. For example, Alto lets you build custom stacks of a personal, junk, social media or billing nature and then organizes your inbox by placing each item into its appropriate mound. For those whose inboxes could be featured on the show “Hoarders”, such a service might be a life saver. Alto is presently launching on an invite-only basis, but expect to see this hopeful e-mail-room worker roll out to the general public early next year. Does it include the cheery “you’ve got mail!” cry? That, we’re not so sure of.
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