This is a dangerous land, only proceed if you’re impervious to any frustrations and impositions…

We have an alpha version of ActiveInbox for Android (that means it looks terrible, is full of bugs, and may occasionally send an email to your boss declaring your intent to take his or her pet hostage).

Have I made it clear it’s not for the faint of heart? 🙂

(Ok I’m joking about the last bit, it will never email anyone accidentally… Getting it to send an email, that might be the tricky part!).

Steps to Becoming a Tester

  1. Making sure you choose the correct Google account (the one you use for Google Play on Android), approve yourself for testing.
  2. Wait a few moments for Google to catch up with you, before…
  3. Going to the Play Store to install the alpha version

Giving Feedback

Simply by using it regularly, it will be sending us incredibly helpful debug reports (automatically) so we can rapidly fix up and and all problems.

And if you have more general usability questions, please comment below or on the forum (I like the keep the discussion public, no matter how embarrassing it is!).

This older post introduces the general features and roadmap.

Categorised in:

This post was written by AndyM

  • José María García Rodríguez

    Long-awaited news! 🙂

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for me. I’ve become a tester following the link, but when I click on the link to Google Play to download the app, it says “We’re sorry, the requested URL was not found on this server” 🙁

    • Hi Jose,

      Developer Matt thinks you might need to wait a few moments for Google to catch up (I realise that sounds ridiculous but that’s the way it is!). Can you try again in 5 mins (direct to https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.activeinboxhq )?

      The only other thing is that you might have accepted it as a tester on a different email account to the one you access the Play store with. Do you have multiple Google accounts?

      • José María García Rodríguez

        Just tried again, this is what I get using the direct link. I’ve double-checked, and I am supposed to be enrolled as a tester with the right Google account. Weird…

        • Thanks Jose,

          Can you try rerunning the steps again – we’ve just tweaked the permissions at our end (which might have been the issue).

          • José María García Rodríguez

            I did rerun the steps two hours ago with the same result, but now it finally let me download the app… Installing ATM 🙂

          • Jose what country are you in? Do you have a VPN for Canada or US and can try again while using that — I’m in Vietnam and was getting the same issue as you until I put my VPN on.

          • José María García Rodríguez

            I’m in Spain, and do not have VPNs. Thanks for the idea, but anyway it’s working now. It just took (quite) some time.

        • Nahid Ahmad

          Hi,

          I went to Google Play and searched activeinbox and it worked for me.

  • Angus

    I’ve got the same problem as José. Do I just need to be patient and keep trying?

    • Hi Angus,

      Could you send a screenshot, including the URL/address bar, of what you see?

      • Angus

        Just pinged it over to you, Andy.

        • Thanks Angus,

          Can you try rerunning the steps again – we’ve just tweaked the permissions at our end (which might have been the issue).

          • Angus

            No, still doesn’t seem to be working.

          • Angus

            (First post didn’t show up initially. Hence second one)

          • Angus

            No, that doesn’t seem to have worked.

          • We’re just giving it a few hours, as Google said “These changes might take a few hours to apply”. Which if it works will be fine; if we have to wait a few hours to find it doesn’t, it’ll be deeply frustrating :/

            “Bug 1 of the Alpha: Can’t install the Alpha”

          • Actually Matt has tried it at our end, and says that despite the delay with the 2nd link, it’s working for him on two of his accounts.

            Can you recheck link #1, and see it it says “You are a tester” – and then check the upper right corner to see if it is for the right Google account?

            Then try link #2 again.

          • Angus

            I definitely get ‘You are a tester’ and it is for the correct account. Still no luck with getting through to the Google Play page. I’ll try again in a while.

          • Angus

            Still not working. Might try again later. If not, tomorrow.

          • Angus

            Yay! I’m in and it looks good!

          • Hey @andyrmitchell:disqus — It might be a regional thing, I just tried from Vietnam — it didn’t work. But then I put my VPN on for Canada, and got the download page no problem. The weird thing was it was saying URL doesn’t exist before I put the VPN on so it’s a misleading error. It should say that it’s not available from your country or something.

            Hope that helps

          • Excellent suggestion Nathan – I’m not sure if it’s just coincidence that Google was rolling out the change, but it’s another option to give people 🙂

    • (And let me know if you have multiple Google accounts)

  • Mark Lewis

    I initially got the error message, but was just able to load it.

    Question: how do I see what project, status, etc. is assigned to a particular email?

    • If you open it, there’s a footer bar with access to all the details (if not, please send a screenshot of what you see!).

      • Mark Lewis

        The label icon has a red dot, but when you open it it doesn’t tell you which status is selected. Is there not a way to display it without having to go into another level? At a glance is what I would like to see.

        • Hi Mark – I’ve just added this to the list to think about.

      • Mark Lewis

        To get to the project/folder selected I have to click on the folder icon, hit “show more” and go down two full screens to find the project/folder it is assigned to. I would like to see “at a glance” without delving into further levels.

  • StefanStanislawski

    There does not seem to be an easy way of deleting an email from the inbox. I want to delete before or after reading. In the Gmail app this is easy. Not in AI.

    Also seems very slow but this is an alpha release I know.

    • If you go into the conversation and hold down the tick icon in the top right (long tap) you’ll get a delete menu.

      As for slowness… Can you let us know :
      1. Which version of Android you’re on?
      2. What kind of phone you’re using?
      3. How many AIB tasks you have (use the desktop to see!).

    • StefanStanislawski

      Its so slow I cannot really use it. Running totally up to date stock Android on a Google Nexus 6P. Large phone with lots of memory.

    • StefanStanislawski

      Holding the tick down just shows a list of emails in the conversation. There are some very small dots to the right but pressing them does not seem to do anything. They are too small to be useful even if they did. My thumb will hardly ever be able to hit them.

  • StefanStanislawski

    54 flagged for TODAY. Probably a few hundred in total for current and future.
    Low thousands I suspect if you look back into the past.

  • Angus

    Very slow for me too. Running on a Galaxy S5/Android 6.0.1

    59 tasks

    • Angus

      It crashed today too but didn’t give me the option to send a bug report

  • Angus

    How do we bin things? Have I missed something obvious

    • Hi Angus – if you long tap the Finish button in the top right of a conversation, you can delete it.

      • Angus

        Thanks Andy, I must admit that I have not been using it much as it is my work email and it had been too slow and laggy.

        Just come back to look at what you told me and it seems so much more fluid and responsive.

        Will start using it and offering more feedback

      • Ken Campbell

        Wow…not intuitive enough for me, I guess…suggest you put a trash bin there so it’s obvious to the clueless like me.

      • Thanks for this, that was my thought too I couldn’t work out how to delete and didn’t want to risk accidentally archiving an unlabelled message. Now I know. I must admit I agree with Ken if it is feasible to have a trash bin icon, I don’t think a new user would work out what to do without needing instructions.

      • Michelle Pennock

        I had no idea that was possible. Thinking there was no delete was preventing me from using it more. Felt redundant to action/date/label something worthy of such and just leave the rest and then deal with later. And I really don’t want to archive that yet another person pinned something from our library’s themed pinterest board. Can’t stand that thing and don’t want to waste anymore space in the universe on it than necessary. Delete feels good!

      • Clif Bromley

        Hi, Andy,

        Another vote for a making delete more discoverable in the UI. I have not been using AIB as my primary mobile client because I didn’t know I could do this and therefore always had to switch to another email client to delete messages. Now that I know, I will put the AIB beta to better use!

  • Nahid Ahmad

    — It is very slow, sluggin, non responsive. Takes a lot of time to load the conversation thread even in the inbox. I think, you are not maintaining any local cache which will be updated after signing in.
    — I have updated many emails in the inbox. It seemed these emails done and gone form the inbox. However, these emails are not gone.
    — I can’t understand what levels are currently attached to an email, this makes the whole thing unusable…
    — While threads are loading, all other links are non responsive
    — I am using multiple accounts in the device, it is asking for singing in if I do not use the app for a while
    — there is no offline signing in! I cannot use the app if I am out of Internet for some time

    My suggestion, you are not using using local resources…. this is the source of all the slowness.

  • TeddyH

    I’m unable to add statuses or labels on in either the inbox pop-up menu, or the menu avail on the email itself. the + buttons, show, but there’s no effect from clicking them or long-pressing

    • Mark Lewis

      Ditto.

  • Moo

    Very slow on Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.1.1

    • I was finding it slow on my galaxy note 4 with 6.0.1 too. First reaction to the newest beta that just released seems like a big improvement. I’ll report back.

  • PJ

    I’m new to ActiveInbox, so perhaps I am not experiencing the performance problems others are because I don’t have a huge amount of emails being tracked though the system. However, I have run into several functional issues and a few oddities that are more personal preference than problems:

    Phone Info:
    HTC One (HTC PN072)
    Android: v5.0.2
    HTC Sense: v6.0

    Problems encountered thus far:

    /Inbox/email viewer:
    – inconsistent display of HTML email. I had a few times when an HTML email displayed in a really narrow scaled column. Unfortunately, I didn’t get screen shots, I will next time.

    /Inbox/email viewer>add label:
    – first issue was more of an inconvenience. Labels are being listed in reverse alphabetical order. Sub-labels beneath them list alphabetically.

    – actual bug is that label does not get applied when selected. The first time I applied a custom label, the app rebooted and required me to log in again.

    /Projects:
    – unable to add new Project, clicking Add button (+) offers only ‘New Task’ and ‘New Email’

    I’ll post again as I encounter further issues.

  • Hey Andy,

    Just downloaded the update released today, wow it looks quite a bit different than the last alpha version I had seen. Good work on the updates, I’ll explore now and send some feedback.

    For initial feedback.. Why the rounded boxes for the content and not just full rows like in Gmail? I feel like that might be cleaner and the rounded edges date the app feel a bit. I don’t mind it on the Lists and Folders info that seems clean there and you don’t really need all the space. But maybe it’s just me. Is there an advantage to this design style? Just curious.

    btw – Is that a new logo? I almost didn’t recognize the icon after the update. I’m sure it will grow on me but I just wanted to say That I liked the multi color version.

    The only issue I had so far was that I couldn’t click on any links in the disqus comment email in AIB but it worked fine in the gmail app. Not sure why. I tried other emails and so far no problems. Just wanted you to know.

    Keep up the good work

    More feedback to come

    • Actually, I do like the red more one when it’s small too but I feel like maybe the full size one in the app could use some finessing around that top edge in the foreground. The line feels too sharp. I know logos and brand design is a very personal thing so I hope you don’t mind a little feedback on that too. 0:)

      • I don’t mind, but Olly might come at you with a sharpened mango 😉

    • I’m currently using Gmail’s “tabs” to filter things like social, updates, promotions, forums, etc which helps me devalue emails in those inboxes and reduce the time to get to inbox zero while staying up to date with those things when I want to. Would it be possible for AIB mobile to respect those filters and only show me stuff in my main inbox? Or toggle between the settings to show mail from all inbox tabs grouped or ungrouped or just the inbox and filter out the rest.

      Hope that makes sense

      Thanks!

      • That’s a good idea actually – I think we might be able to accommodate eventually !

    • It’s a new logo (I rather love it!) 🙂

      Thanks for the Disqus bug – I have that too.

      The ‘card’ feel is intentional, we really wanted to convey the feel of emails as tasks. I think you’ll find it perfectly useable once you’re used to it (I hope so anyway)

  • mz

    Andy,

    Believe it or not, I haven’t yet tried this yet. In addition to the first beta having a lot of apparent issues noted here, another hangup I have is with security. Can you please try to do two things? They’re not just for me; I’m sure others will have these concerns.

    1. Can you publicly comment on the security architecture regarding Gmail data & credentials, and how your app handles them? It’s also critical to know what you do with passwords, sign-in tokens, whether you transmit emails to your server, whether you store any emails or metadata on your server, etc. It’s not just a matter of trusting your good intentions (which I do), but a matter of knowing who has access to data and under what conditions, and being able to communicate that to clients, etc. The more thoroughly you can document this, the better. There HAVE been documented issues with third-party email clients being lax or even dangerous with security choices, so this will be a concern for any who are aware.

    2. Please document the reason for the permissions the Android app requests. I suspect some of them are even unnecessary, such as “Draw over other apps”. I trust your good intentions, but this is just a good practice sort of thing, and others won’t have experience or history with AIB as I do!

    Thanks.

    • Both good points – I actually don’t know, having not touched a line of code in mobile, but I believe everything is kept local, with a direct conversation to Gmail’s servers via Gmail’s API.

      I’ll ask the devs tomorrow to put something up publicly though 🙂

      • mz

        Andy,

        Please point this out when it’s ready, either here or through some announcement mechanism. Thanks!

  • Please dd a “ask before showing images” security option.

    For people like me who receive a lot of email from new people and don’t like my email opens to be tracked, this is a critical feature.

    • mz

      Me too. This is a critical feature for me.

  • Benjamin Schumann

    great app so far, on the bring of uninstalling gmail app 😉

    one nice thing would be to leverage the power of mobiles: Allow me to get a push notification for a task on a specific date and time. Further down the line, you could also add location-based notifications like Google Keep does… 🙂

  • Notification Tweaks:

    1) Most email clients offer actions (Archive Reply Delete etc) right from the notification. AIB should provide actions, but also make them customizable… i.e., from the notification, I should be able to trigger a “ToDo, Mark Complete, Tag, Delete, etc) action.

    2) In most email clients, a notification is displayed with the following structure: “Sender Subject”. In AIB, the notification is “ActiveInbox Sender Subject”. The “ActiveInbox” tag for each message should be removed. Not only is it redundant with the notification header, but it also removes the ability to see the first line of the message without expanding the notification.

    3) In Gmail, the sender icon shows a picture if I have the person in my contact list. The ActiveInbox email notification just show the AIB icon for each message. I prefer the Gmail method because it provides me a quick visual for known senders.

    4) In Gmail, multiple emails are represented with a single icon in the notification bar. With AIB, this occurs sometimes, but other times I’m noticing that each email notification generates a new email icon in the status bar.

  • John Bowen

    Andy, do you have any plans to use summary notifications i.e. “there are 10 messages”? I am getting buried by individual notifications… or is there a way to change that setting?

    • José María García Rodríguez

      Last update was a real improvement over the previous one in terms of UI, though there are still few miles to go 🙂

      Anyway, regarding notifications, I would also like to add two comments:
      1- Lately, I am unable to enter the app when I click on a notification. The app crashes (I’ve sent several reports by now).
      2- There should be a setting to disable notifications, so that one could choose to have regular Gmail notifications instead of AIB.

      But seriously, group them as John suggested. That should be a priority!

      Keep’n going! 🙂

    • Ken Campbell

      Hi Andy – another comment on the notifications! I know I’ve got new mail, I don’t need to be notified, the damn things never stop coming… but this buries my notifications bar and I miss other important notifications. I’ve disabled them for AIB in my Samsung, but that’s not ideal, either. Need to have the ability to turn “new mail” notifications off within the app.

      • StrangeHuman

        Ken, how did you turn off AIB notifications? I looked through it thoroughly and can’t find any settings button or menu at all? I’m having the same issue; AIB notifications are drowning out all the others.

        • Ken Campbell

          It’s not in the app – I have a Galaxy S4. In Settings/My Device/Sounds and notifications/Application notifications, you can block specific apps from sending notifications. I’m sure most Androids have this capacity somewhere in their settings menu. Not good that this hasn’t been addressed yet, without this workaround I would have left the Beta – it’s paralytic.

          • StrangeHuman

            Ditto, Ken, I was about ready to uninstall the AIB app. THANK YOU for pointing me to the Application notifications. (I was having the same issue with WhatsApp, which I just installed and was using a busy channel — I was deluged with dozens of notifications every few minutes.) My Samsung Note 4 just got 97% more sane.

  • In the AIB toolbar within an email, I’d like to see a visual indicator when a field (todo, folder, etc) has a value set — just like the desktop version.

    For example, if I have a todo date set, the toolbar should show the todo button as blue (or red if set but overdue), not grey. If no value is set, it should remain grey.

    • Hi Anish,

      You’ll notice (as with the List icon in your email) that we do make things darker when they’re selected. It’s obvious to me now – and I like it – but I’m used to it. We could consider blue – I just have to get Olly the Designer to agree 🙂

      • Anish

        I think coloring should be consistent across all platforms AIB runs on. On the desktop, todos, tags, etc are highlighted blue when set. And, overdue items are red.

        Why does it make more sense to change that color scheme on mobile? Even if you’re adhering to the strictest mobile UI practices, there’s room for consistency of color – especially with Android’s Material Design.

    • jpnelson40

      I agree with increased contrast, at least as an option, in all the views. Designers seem not to learn, or easily forget, that many older eyes don’t see subtle contrasts easily (try light brown text on sepia background, or in the case of AIB for Android, lighter red on darker red when icons are not active) (version 1.0.10, and I suppose previous as well).

  • Joost van der Drift

    I use ActiveInbox for work, but have my private gmail account connected to my android. Can I still join the beta test?

  • Felix Allaire

    Please tell me how to simply archive a conversation, without marking it as done, when I’m “inside” the email. I have set the due date and statuses, etc. and I’m just trying to archive it now…

    • Ross Metherell

      I agree. The most common action I take is “Archive” (while preserving existing labels/statuses/due dates, etc), but can’t seem to find a way to do that as the app stands – neither from the inbox view nor from the view “inside” the email. Ideally, one would be reading an email, and be able to hit “archive and move to the next message”, just like you can with ActiveInbox for Chrome.

  • Christian Andersen

    Like the Alpha Android app – Needs Mark as Unread and Consolidation of Notifications when multiple emails received

    • Felix Allaire

      +1

    • +1

      And yes, I understand the logic for not having a “mark as unread” button, but sometimes you just want to deal with it like new. Real world needs trump.

    • StrangeHuman

      +1

  • Felix Allaire

    When composing new email (or reply/forward) would need to be able to do the same as the native Gmail app in terms of selecting the “from” field, so you can choose to send from different gmail accounts or “send mail as”

    • Yes, this is also a necessity.

    • Ken Campbell

      Ditto – must use my corporate email address as default when in the app.

  • Michelle Pennock

    Hi, I’m still kind of new at the mobile beta app. Some things I like, but it takes some getting used to. I’m finding that it’s mostly useful for me if I need to toss myself a reminder message that I can easily make an action item at the time of sending. I can use it to check up on things i need to do, but I don’t feel that I can fully deal with all my items from my phone. One area that is a problem is not being able to delete something from the mobile app. I’m an administrative assistant and have a random assortment of tiny crap to deal with on a constant basis (order more plates for the break room, have grafitti removed in the bathroom stall, have the stairwell cleaned out, who smashed their greasy faceprint in that window?!! etc)…Things jump out at me as I’m walking the building, or people ask me about something as we pass by. When something pops up like that, I just toss myself an email reminder. With the mobile app, I can action it, give it a date and all that good stuff. I’m digging that. However, I can’t delete something I’ve completed and I really don’t wish to archive all these stupid random things. I prefer to archive things that have information I may need again. Additionally in the new desktop version, if I delete them the Action, Waiting, Date do not go away, so they still show in my Today expanded view (or Action view). I’m having to click the labels off so I can delete them.

    • Hi Michelle,

      If you long-tap the finish tick in the top right of a conversation, you can get a menu to delete it 🙂

      We’re looking at other alternatives…

  • Dave Armstrong

    Android beta app looks great. I have been having problems with stability though. Lately, it crashes a few seconds after launch though. To things I note: 1)it appears still in the background after the crash, 2) if I flip to flight mode (all radios off), it stays up. On Galaxy S7. Any thoughts ?

    • Hi Dave,

      Can you email us (support@activeinboxhq.com) so we have your email address, and then we can look into the logs today 🙂

  • Ken Campbell

    BUG: Tasks that are strikethrough-ed on Android mobile app aren’t appearing the same on AIB6.

  • Anish

    The main menu, long press menus, toolbar selection lists, etc all have a ‘non-Android’ (iOS?) feel to them. I know it’s an alpha and an iOS port, but can we assume that future releases will ahere more to the native Android menu and list look and feel?

    ref: http://materialdesignblog.com/ui-android-elements-using-googles-material-design/

  • Ken Campbell

    BUG: Hyperlinks in emails don’t work.

  • Anish

    Within my conversation thread headers, the timestamps formatting is broken. Also, the 3-dot menu in the email threads are half cutoff.

    Picture attached for visual explanation. Running AIB 1.0.8

  • It’s accessible to the public on Google play, does this mean it’s officially released? Or still just testing?

  • jpnelson40

    Trying to set a tag from inside an email, the search function seems to work only on the visible tags on that view, and the list is not scrolling, either. So the function is effectively crippled. Maybe the developers could post a list of clearly
    not-yet-working features, so the beta testers don’t waste time even trying them?
    Android Beta 1.0.10
    Marshmallow 6.0.1 on Galaxy Note 4, T-Mobile

  • Anish

    Any plans to update the Mobile roadmap to reflect the work you plan on doing over the next few months/quarters? ref: http://www.activeinboxhq.com/mobile_beta.php

    Things have been quite on the Android front for the last 4-6 weeks and the mobile roadmap seems to end at Q3 2016 (doing my best not to be the guy asking for an ETA on an Android update!)

  • Nahid Ahmad

    Hi,

    Is there any update on the Android front….there is no update since 1.0.32……it is really really a long journey!