I just got my invitation to start using Aol Alto, the media companies new and fresh take on email. Right now, I’m using it in conjunction with my Gmail account and so far it actually does feel nice and easy to use. It grabs all your emails and organizes them into stacks (folders, essentially) and allows you to view media and attachments in a much more fluid way. If you get a lot of photos via email, Alto is going to be a godsend.
One of the things I really like is the tabbed message bar at the very top. It allows me to open multiple email strings (ie: different windows in an actual Mail app) and switch between them and grab information from each very easily. It’s not a particularly new idea, but it’s done very well in Alto. I like that.
And on the nerdy side of things, I really like the statistical information shown inside each Stack. I’m a sucker for charts and graphs and Alto has it built right in. Overall, a really simple and gorgeous looking web-based email client that ties in nicely with my Gmail. Well done Aol.