Never, ever believe a developer when they give you a deadline ๐Ÿ™‚ Especially an optimistic/ill one! But, here’s the good news… WE ARE UNDER WAY!!

It’s just for Chrome today. Firefox has some design glitches that we’ll get fixed over the weekend, after which all new releases will be for both browsers.

So what’s new?

A Glossy New HAB

The new design’s major goal is to be cleaner and more solid. There are quite a few visual glitches remaining, but I really just wanted to get this version out to you and start getting your feedback. They will be fixed in the coming days!

That Is At The Top & Bottom

Following Gmail’s cue, and your requests, the HAB now also appears at the bottom, so if you scroll through a long conversation you no longer need to scroll to the top.

With Deadlines Inline – And A Calendar!

A big change! When you click the textbox for the date, a calendar pops out so you can make a very quick visual selection for when the email is due. After my chats with Chris Barber, there is more yet to discuss about this, but that will come in the next few weeks – it’s exciting stuff though ๐Ÿ™‚

A Much More Intuitive ‘Send & File’

I love ‘Send & File’, it nudges you to check how the email is categorized just at the point the status/project is most likely to change. It’s very timely.

But, it was never quite right in terms of usability. It had the weird ‘Archive’ button, everything was buried in dropdowns, and the actual ‘Send’ button just spawned a menu.

So, to be consistent and fix those problems, there is now a true ‘Send & Archive’ button (the ‘& Archive’ bit is a preference), with a ‘move nexter’ arrow, so you can send and go the next conversation.
When you mouseover this button, the floating HAB appears, so that you can update the Status/Project if you need.

A Quick Word on the ‘Move Next’ Arrow

In ActiveInbox 3, each button has 3 sections: the main (do & go back), left arrow (do and move newer) & right arrow (do and move older). This has too much cognitive decision time, so now the arrow only goes one way, to help you flow through your emails.

However, you can still change it, using the inline prefs (click the cog icon). So, if you’re a person who moves from older to newer, you can just switch to the left-facing arrow instead.

What Next?

I’m really excited about your feedback. Be as harsh, critical or suggestive as you please — it’s all VERY welcome in the comments! (Please, no emails – I hope we can gather as many thoughts as we can in one place).

What I is really useful to know is:
1) Does it make you feel more in control?
2) Does it make you feel like you can glide through your emails more quickly?

And what you think should be done if the answer is no or “not quite”. We can discuss ๐Ÿ™‚

For features, tomorrow I’m going to start tackling the new Reviews, with ‘To Do’, ‘Overdue’ and ‘Low Priority’. I’m aiming for a release early next week; and then I’ll do another rapid release to factor in your feedback from this version.

How To Download ActiveInbox 4 Alpha 1

Please note, this is very important:
* It is only for Plus users. If you don’t have Plus, and you upgrade, you will not be able to use ActiveInbox 4 Alpha (and will have to uninstall & downgrade).
* It is only for Google Chrome

1) Uninstall the last version of ActiveInbox from Chrome (click ‘Window’, then ‘Extensions’, find ActiveInbox in the list and uninstall)

2) Click Install ActiveInbox 4.0 Alpha 2 for Chrome and install as usual

14:48 Friday 7th [Update]

I’ve just uploaded Alpha 2 (Chrome should auto-update for everyone who’s already installed, but you can install again if you wish), that fixes at least one Preference issue… I hope it’s the right one!


This was written by Andy Mitchell