Hate long e-mails? Love Shortmail, the Twitter-esque e-mail service that caps all messages at 500 characters? Good news: they’ve just launched an iPhone App.
For those just now hearing about the service for the first time, Shortmail is an effort to make e-mail “concise, readable and conversational.” You sign into Shortmail with your Twitter account, and get an @shortmail.com address with a matching handle. If I signed in with my @Grg twitter name, for example, I would be firstname.lastname@example.org (Note: I’ve never signed in with that handle, so that address won’t work. Don’t e-mail me there.) You can then correspond with any other e-mail address in the world, with one twist: anything coming in or going out must be less than 500 characters.
Shortmail’s iOS app looks much more like an instant messaging client than an e-mail reader — which makes sense, given their focus on conversations. It’s light, it’s easy, and it might be enough to make me hate e-mail less.
With that said, I’m still not entirely convinced that Shortmail is the answer to all my woes. In the 20 minutes it’s taken me to write this post, I’ve received 8 new messages. None of them are “spam” in the classic sense (that is, they’re not trying to sell me pills and/or accessories for my man bits), but of the 8 there’s just 1 that I actually need and will read past the subject line. My problem with e-mail isn’t length — it’s quantity. (Plus, I’ve got to mention: their page explaining why the 500 character limit is so great comes in at just under 7,000 characters)