Can OnMail reinvent email?
OnMail — the new email service from Edison Mail — is officially launching today in a public beta, offering the company’s reinvented take on email to the masses
Edison is best known for its regular email app (which recently debuted a new premium subscription service), but at the end of the day, the original app is effectively just a fresh coat of paint and some additional nice features onto the regular Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, or iCloud mail experience. OnMail, on the other hand, is a more drastic attempt at fixing email from the ground up, offering a wholly new email service that’s designed around privacy and convenience.
Interestingly, OnMail is second major new email service to launch in 2020 with an eye towards fixing modern email woes, following the release of Hey (from the makers of Basecamp) earlier this year. Unlike Hey, though, OnMail offers a completely free tier. (Hey did add a 14-day burner account to try to appease Apple.)
The marquee feature for OnMail is similar to Hey — the ability to filter every new sender that tries to email you, and only allow those contacts you want into your inbox. Layered on top of that are Edison’s existing unsubscribe and block features, with the goal of giving users far more control over who can contact them.
There’s a split-inbox feature, which sounds similar to Superhuman, which allows you to filter out email into small sub-sections. OnMail’s search promises to support more natural language, instead of requiring specific search strings. And automatic read receipt blocking is built-in by default to prevent people from tracking whether you’ve read their emails. Additionally, features from Edison’s existing email app, like package and flight tracking, bill and receipt filtering, and price alerts on recent purchases are also all integrated into OnMail.
OnMail also offers support for sharing far bigger files directly over email than the 25MB limit imposed by Gmail, with the option to send share up to 100MB in size on the free plan all the way up to 5GB on the most premium subscription, in what’s effectively a file-transfer service integrated on top of the email functionality. Large files will also get standalone landing pages to make them easier to share.
OnMail is offering four different plans. There’s a free Personal plan, which offers an @onmail.com username and includes 10GB of storage and 100MB attachments. Access to the free plan will be distributed on a rolling basis to customers who signed up back when OnMail first was announced back in April, while the paid plans will be open immediately to anyone interesting in subscribing.
The other three plans all include monthly fees, and cost $4.99, $9.99, and $19.99 per month per user. They’re designed for larger teams with more divest needs, like more storage, larger attachments, password protected files, and more. All three paid plans also include the option of a custom domain for email addresses included in the price, with the aim of streamlining customized email usernames for less tech-savvy users who don’t want to deal with buying their own URL.
Additionally, OnMail is limiting access to highly-coveted @onmail.com usernames with fewer than eight characters to its Professional and Business plans — so if you’re hoping to have your first name as your email address, you’ll have to pay up.
It’s still early days for OnMail as a service — for now, it’ll be primarily available through a browser-based webapp, although the Edison Mail apps on iOS, Android, and Mac will be able to access the accounts too. But more full-featured support for OnMail within those apps won’t arrive until later this year, and dedicated OnMail apps aren’t arriving until next year.