Astro is bringing its bot for email to Slack and Alexa with a pair of new integrations announced today. Astrobot will allow users of those platforms to receive and manage messages from a set of connected accounts.
By invoking Astrobot, customers will be able to ask their home Echo speakers to help with email triage while they’re cooking and send emails without leaving Slack during the day. The Slack integration also allows users to view messages from Slack inside Astro’s email apps for Mac, iOS, and Android, alongside their more traditional messages.
Astrobot can show users all of the messages they receive (which isn’t recommended), cut that down to those the bot considers important, or just share those that come from a list of pre-defined VIPs. Recommendations on which emails are important are based on machine learning.
Users also get a more streamlined sharing flow for sending emails from their inbox to Slack within the Astro email apps, which is supposed to simplify the sharing of content from one medium to the other.
Today’s announcements are part of the company’s overall vision of bringing its bot to as many platforms as possible in order to streamline work communication. In the future, the company has a vision of its bot using machine learning to suggest important content from systems of record in order to improve employees’ efficiency.
One of the key benefits of Astro’s approach with the two integrations today is that people will be able to use Astrobot to handle email without even having the company’s Mac, iOS, or Android app installed on any of their devices. It’s a move that could help expand the reach of the service.
Right now, one of the biggest drawbacks is that Astrobot doesn’t allow the creation of custom signatures for use with its Alexa and Slack integrations. (The company’s apps for Mac, iOS, and Android already support custom signatures.) Instead, users will be stuck with a default “Sent from Astro” connected to the end of their message, along with a link to the service’s website. Company CEO Andy Pflaum said that support for custom signatures is on the roadmap for the future.
The Astrobot Slack integration and unified search also allow teams to install Astrobot in their Slack teams, which could be a tough ask for some IT organizations. However, each user’s email is kept private and won’t be shared with other teammates unless users choose to do so.
Updated 9:15 Pacific: This story has been updated to clarify that Astro’s apps for Mac, iOS, and Android support custom signatures.