Innovative app Paperfold shows us the future of email

This article was updated 08/06/15.

Paperfold is a visual email app which landed in the App Store in February this year. Incubated at Telefonica’s Wayra accelerator last year, the app aims to re-imagine the way we interact with our everyday inbox.

You sign in with your email account and the app presents your messages as tiles. The look and feel of the tiles change, according to the emails you’ve been sent. They go red to show you that a pdf is attached, or display as a video embed, so you can play YouTube links.

Paperfold

Today, the London based team have released Version 1.2 of the app, which adds an exciting new feature for Twitter users: for the first time, you can instantly follow a user back on Twitter, without leaving your inbox.

The free app, aimed at consumers, can be described as cross between Flipboard and Plex. It takes a more media-friendly approach from all the productivity-style email apps we’re used to seeing of late.

“We’ve discovered that business-style email apps are over represented. Consumers have completely different email habits from business users. They aren’t concerned with ideas like inbox zero and spend more time browsing their messages. They’re less likely to treat their inbox as a to-do list and instead prefer to shop, watch videos and stay in touch with close family and friends over email.” explains founder Shash Deshmukh.

The Twitter follow tile is the first of a set of new tiles the app makers are introducing this year along with performance updates. If successful, the developers say they plan to release Paperfold for the iPhone and other alternative platforms this year.

“We want to keep the app free for all our users, so we’ve come up with a model that respects both user privacy and the email senders’ business goals.” says Shash.

Brands that want higher open and action rates on their messages, can rent Paperfold tiles. When a user that’s already subscribed to the brand gets an email, it shows in the app as an enhanced tile, increasing the chance that a user will engage with it. An example of this is, quickly responding to a flash deal or paying a bill from an email receipt that’s been recognised.

Paperfold are currently raising their seed round of investment and plan to expand to the US.

The latest update (v.1.3) from Paperfold now enables users to recognise attachments sent in Apple file formats including Keynote, Pages and Numbers. This feature addition brings the total number of email types recognised by the app, to 26.

"Paperfold supports all major image and document types on the iPad and makes these attachments easier to see in your inbox. Users often receive Keynote, Pages & Numbers files along with Microsoft documents, so we've added support for these in the most recent version." explains software developer, Kieran McGrady.

The update also adds support for emails that contain attached audio and video files.