Cloze - The Inbox is Human Again (Free) by Cloze is an app that wants to be your all-in-one inbox for email and social relationships. It also helps you manage your email more efficiently, though it may not be to the same scale as Mailbox.
I’m not sure about you, but I’m still waiting in line for Mailbox (as of this post, I am 43,442 in line). I’m still wondering if the app is worth the hype, but I guess I’ll find out in another couple of days, or a week. But in the meantime, that doesn’t mean that I won’t check out other email apps, and Cloze is definitely one of them.
In order to use Cloze, you’ll first have to create a Cloze account. It’s easy and simple to sign up, requiring only an email and a password. You’ll also get digests delivered to your inbox with updates from your “key people,” who will be your most contacted people, basically. But I have enough stuff in my inbox, like most people, so fortunately you are able to change your preferences.
Anyway, when you create your account, you can start adding multiple email accounts (Gmail, Exchange, Yahoo, or Other) and social networking accounts (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter). Cloze will take a while to analyze your account information (this is mostly to get an idea of who your top people are), and this process can either take a few minutes or a few days (it says that), depending on the amount of data. Fortunately, for me, it did not take long at all (couple of minutes).
When the app is done analyzing your data, you’ll be able to have everything in a single app — email and social network updates. Of course, if you prefer to use Cloze just for email, you can toggle Social off from the side panel navigational menu (or even Mail, if you hate dealing with your inbox). The side panel menu will feature Saved For Later, Key People, Other Mail, Bulk Mail, Losing Touch, and Other Social.
Email messages will show an excerpt of the message body on the front screen, complete with timestamp so you see how new it is. You can do several things with email messages as well by tapping on the “bookmark” at the top corner of the screen: handle it Now, Today, Tomorrow, or Next Week. These messages will be stored in “Saved for Later,” where you can take action on them at the time you specified. You can also tap on the button with multiple arrows on it to reply, reply all, and forward the email message. If you’ve taken care of an email, just tap on the checkmark to mark it as done (and then the – button to bring it back if you change your mind).
Social updates will be displayed in the same format as email messages, and you can still save them for later if you just don’t want to deal with them at the moment. Of course, tweets will have action buttons for replying, retweeting, favoriting, and emailing the tweet to someone. Facebook posts will give you options for liking and emailing, but you cannot add a new comment directly from Cloze, which is unfortunate. You can also create your own lists in Cloze, such as “Friends” or “Family,” and add specific people to it to keep up-to-date on the most important people in your life.
The side panel menu also has three tabs at the bottom (a bit confusing at first, but you get used to it), and you have: What’s New (default view), People, and Settings. People will allow you to search through all of your contacts (thumbnails are displayed). Settings allows you to change your profile and password, inbox sync options (when should mail be considered “done,”), notifications, and add more email or social network accounts.
Cloze updates and syncs very frequently, so your changes should be reflected everywhere else once you take action on messages.
I think the idea of Cloze is very interesting, and the app has a slick looking interface, although it can feel a bit cluttered at times. It’s nice to have everything in one place, but I’m not sure if it’s any more efficient than something like Mailbox, though I can’t tell you personally how that app works for me since I can’t even use it yet. I did notice that while you can have multiple email accounts, you can’t have multiple social networking accounts. I hope that the developers can fix this in the future.
It’s worth checking out since it’s free, but the efficiency of the app itself may vary. You can grab Cloze for your iPhone and iPad for free in the App Store.