in Reviews, Technology

Universal Inbox – Hanging by a Thread

Essentially Threadsy is trying to solve the problem that most users face with multiple tabs open in a browser window. If you’re the type who has a Twitter and Facebook account, as well as multiple e-mail accounts, you’ve probably got several tabs running throughout the day that keep these sites open. Threadsy’s solution is to aggregate all the messages from those places into one interface using the newest APIs from Twitter and Facebook, the no-sign-in-needed OAuth from Gmail and other webmail offerings.

Interface

The interface – messages on the left, streaming updates on the right – works for you better than individual inbox views. Web mail has been handled with simplicity. When first setting up the service, you give it access to your various e-mail accounts, which at least for Gmail, can be done without giving Threadsy any of your account credentials. Instead, you just authorize it to get access to those messages – just like enabling connections to your Facebook and Twitter profiles.

Threadsy then blends together all the messages from your Web mail accounts along with direct messages in Twitter and Facebook into one big in-box. When you click on a message, you also get a profile view of the sender, compiling everything your social networks and the web knows about them. Social updates from Twitter and Facebook sit on the right of the page, where you can see the latest items from both networks mixed together. If a user has linked to a photo, Threadsy will give you a nice large preview. The same goes for linked audio files and updates from various Facebook applications.

Pros

  • All your accounts in one place.
  • Social updates and e-mail side by side (even Google Buzz).
  • Built-in Twitter and Facebook posting tool.
  • Signature that includes links to all your various social profiles.
  • Features multi-file attachment uploading.
  • Bird’s eye view of somebody’s public profile, including tweets, uploaded photos, and various social-networking profiles.
  • Built-in chat (powered by Meebo).
  • Audio notifications when you get a new message.

Cons

  • Lackluster auto-complete for the addresses in the e-mail app.
  • Does a poor job showing you the addresses of the e-mail account you’re sending from.
  • “Inbound” universal in-box is hard to tell which services messages are from.
  • Missing the feel of each service’s native messaging tools (except for Twitter).