A few of us from Xoopit went to Google I/O this week. Google is wooing developers and doing an excellent job at it. However, one big piece of the puzzle is missing.
Marissa Meyer talked about how to take everyday experiences and turn them from ordinary to extraordinary. For many people, the most everyday experience is plowing through their email inbox. The still open question for Google: how do they take Gmail and turn it into a thriving platform?
We are big believers in building interesting applications on webmail. You can already see this on Gmail with Xoopit, Remember The Milk, GTDInbox, TripIt and others. To properly turn email into a platform you need to consider how to properly grant access to email data (e.g. using OAuth or similar), give access to contacts, expose generic UI (e.g. OpenSocial containers) and finally provide access to the unique parts of webmail (inbox, read message, compose message and search).
At Xoopit we do a lot of heavy lifting to understand what parts of webmail as a platform users will find interesting. We’ll be reporting more of our findings on this on our blog over time. And we’re looking forward to working with all the webmail providers to advance the state of the art. Stay tuned!