Developers need not tinker with tedious email protocols anymore. They can just plunk in this bit of code to their apps, and poof, integration with a slew of email providers.
Today a startup called Inbox announced the release today of an application programming interface (API) to handle email sending and delivery. The API is for “building next-generation email apps, Inbox said in a statement.
The API already supports Gmail, Yahoo mail, and business-focused Microsoft Exchange. Other clients — like AOL and Apple’s iCloud — should be on the way.
Indeed, it’s taken time and effort to build email applications like Acompli and Mailbox for mobile and desktop devices. They don’t come out every day. But if Inbox has its way, a whole lot more could pop up.
Application developers live the life these days. It seems they have APIs for almost everything — payment processing, video embedding, Wikipedia entries, whatever.
Perhaps other startups working on email, including Boxer and Triage, will move to release their smarts. Inbox has a lead in that department for the moment. And the API’s sync engine is available for free on GitHub under a GNU open-source license, which could give developers confidence about the quality of the code.
While the program is in private beta, it seems Inbox’s API is already helping startups. Today’s statement contains a positive quote from the engineering lead at “social email startup” Cloze:
Fixing bugs in the edge-cases of different email providers, and dealing with their availability and reliability challenges is incredibly hard. For anyone that needs email integration as a turnkey add-on, you should really take a look at Inbox.