The basic premise of Inky is to make the email client less visually fatiguing and much more aware of what messages — especially common ones like daily deals, social invitations, etc. — are actually about. Dave Baggett, the Founder of Inky, shared with Startups.fm on how Inky is the new age email client, helping people keeping their inboxes clutter free.
Inky runs on Windows and OS X now; a Linux version is coming soon. iOS and Android versions are also in the works. We intend Inky to run on “all screens”.
Inky is smarter, simpler and safer
By smarter, we mean that it should know what your messages mean, and how important they are to you. So in Inky, we have made it possible to sort by relevance. As Google showed with search in 1998, showing the most relevant results higher on the page qualitatively improves the user experience. Inky also puts common kinds of emails like daily deals and social notifications in special “smart views”.
By simpler, we mean that legacy email readers have far too many controls and too much clutter. With Inky, we always ask ourselves if a control is truly necessary — can we remove or simplify further? We believe simplicity is both functional and beautiful.
By safer, we mean that the mail program should better protect the user from harm. So with Inky, we guard against phishing attacks and use the highest level of encryption the mail server will support. And we’ve architected the system to preserve users’ privacy. The way Inky is set up, we can’t get access to users’ messages — by design.
While there are apps like Sparrow or even iCloud, Dave says ,”Well, for one thing, those apps both target the Apple ecosystem alone; we’re aiming to make Inky work on all screens and across ecosystems. So, e.g., you will be able to run Inky on your OS X MacBook Pro and your Android phone, and they will interoperate seamlessly.”
Their “smart, simple, safe” mantra also highlights two other differences as Dave mentions: “we want Inky to understand your messages, not just sort and filter them. We’re pushing the envelope on what’s possible with machine learning and natural language techniques, to make Inky much more like a person helping you get organized and less like a dumb computer program. We also guard users’ privacy. All the mainstream cloud-based email providers have access to your emails; with Inky, your emails never touch our network or servers, and our employees can never read your email. We think that’s an important difference.”
Easy to set up and use
Yes they’ve made “onboarding” a priority with Inky. The idea is that instead of typing in server names, ports, and other gibberish, you just tell Inky your email address and password, and Inky figures out the rest “automagically”. Inky is still working out some of the kinks with this — it’s much harder than it looks — but they will soon be at the point where almost no one has to know what their mail servers are any more.
Reaching out to users
So far Inky has been spreading primarily by word-of-mouth. Dave says, “We’re still in beta, fixing bugs, and we’re adding users “organically,” day-by-day. The target market is the 3B+ people on Earth who use email. We feel consumer email is an underserved but incredibly important market.”
On starting up Inky
Inky is built with love by Arcode founded by Dave and privately held company in Bethesda. Dave started the company in 2008. He says, “I had been bothered by the lack of innovation in the email client space for many, many years, and finally decided it was time to do something about it. Our team consists of programmers, machine learning experts, designers, and other technical staff, as well as the typical kinds of support roles in finance, etc. that you’d expect.I sold my last company (ITA Software) to Google in 2010, and have been self-funding Inky partly using the proceeds from that liquidity event. At this point Inky is entirely self-funded.”
Looking at the future
Dave finally winds up saying, “We’d like to get millions of people using Inky on all their devices. We obviously have a ways to go — we’ll add chat, calendar, contacts import, etc. soon — but we feel like the design direction we’re headed in is a compelling one, and are hearing that loud and clear from our early adopters as well.”