Another interesting approach is Birdseye, which calls itself the first email client built from the ground up for tablets.
The Birdseye iPad app for Gmail accounts that was quietly launched by a New York development shop called DE-DE last week.
“If email sucks, email on an iPad is even worse,” DE-DE CEO Hashem Bajwa told me. “Most email clients have just adapted how email works on a desktop to the tablet, even through our interaction with tablets is different and our needs in terms of email is different.”
Birdseye plays on three advantages of the iPad: 1) it’s visual, 2) you can manipulate it with touch, and 3) it’s big enough to fit more than one thing on the screen.
Within Birdseye, emails are displayed as large horizontal tiles. Rather than stacks of subject lines, messages are nicely formatted and displayed in full. Attached images are shown at the top, newsletters are stripped of their subject and sender header so the maximum content is shown.
That means you can see only about three emails within a screen — so it’s not a great way to assess your inbox at a glance. But Birdseye is built to encourage users to deal with their email quickly and immediately.
It’s all very hands-on. So for instance, if Birdseye detects a calendar invite, users can tap to accept and add to their calendar. If Birdseye detects bulk mail, users are given the option to unsubscribe. If it’s an alert about new Twitter followers, users can tap to follow back.
Birdseye is still in its early days, said Bajwa, but he said some future ideas are Apple TV and AirPlay support. Plus, he wants to add many more inbox actions — to that end, developers are already welcome to play with Birdseye’s code on GitHub.