If you haven’t tried any other email app since Google launched Gmail almost 16 years ago, you are probably not going to just up and leave something that you’ve gotten used to. But if you’re tired of all the privacy and security issues from Google and all the other Siicon Valley giants, you might be more open to this new baby from Basecamp co-founders David Hansonn and Jason Fried. The Hey email app is now free to try if you have an invite code (and you can request for one).
The idea for Hey is not to just mimic all the existing email services and apps out there. Their emphasis is on your own human intelligence and not the automatically curated inbox that you get from Gmail and other current services. They are also putting a lot of effort into telling you that your email is secure and private and so you will not be bombarded by ads that will follow you everywhere you go on the Internet.
The first time someone emails you, they will land on a section called The Screener where you will check yes if you want to hear from them again and no if you never want them to contact you. After you say yes, the email will then be segregated into three sections – The Imbox where all the important emails go; The Feed where things like newsletters and not-so-urgent emails go; and The Paper Trail is for where transactions like receipts, order confirmation, go. And you get to choose which goes where.
The service also has other interesting features like Reply Later, an attachment library for all the files that have been sent to you through email, ability to change the subject line for easier search, ignoring threads, merging emails on the same topics, and choosing which senders or threads can notify you. And of course, the all-important blocking of spy trackers is a big bonus if you don’t want your data floating around.
The major catch for the Hey email service is that it will not be free forever. For now you get a 14 day free trial but after that, you will have to shell out $99 per year. This will of course test you on how much you really want a new and safer kind of email and if you’re willing to pay for it.