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AOL’s surprisingly good Alto email app adds Alexa and Slack features

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Alto is a way better email app than you’d expect to come from AOL in 2016. It’s better than any app you’d expect to come from AOL in 2016. Available on the web, Android, and iOS, Alto’s approach to email resembles that of CloudMagic and other email software that’s designed to simplify inbox management and show you important stuff first.

Alto’s stacks categorize your emails based on popular criteria (snoozed, messages from contacts, messages with files / photos, etc.) and the app’s cards put critical info — travel times, hotel bookings, OpenTable reservations, and so on — in front of you without actually requiring you to dig through the inbox. Like so:

Today the company announced that it’s adding Slack and Amazon Alexa integrations to Alto. Both are launching in opt-in beta form today, and you can sign up at the website. The short demonstrates how both new functions work.

On Slack:

When you connect your Alto account to Slack, you gain access to your Dashboard items and emails in your personal Slack channel. You can also choose photos and attachments from Alto galleries and upload them to any Slack channel. With stacks, Alto makes it easy to find every attachment, from photos to word docs to spreadsheets. That means no more poking around in your Dropbox folder or computer. Simply go to your photo or attachment stack, select and upload.

And on the Alexa skill:

Alexa, powered by the information in Alto, tells you the day and time of your next flight, what airline and what gate you’ll be departing from or only the important emails in your Alto Dashboard. Accessing Alto through Alexa finally closes the loop between your digital and physical life by communicating all the important information from Alto and into the physical world.

Okay that last sentence is a little much, maybe. But if you’ve found yourself feeling a strong, renewed desire to test out a new email client, Alto could be worth a quick trial run. Anything’s better than Yahoo at this point.