AOL opens limited preview to cloud-based email service Alto

It brought the email first to the masses, and yesterday AOL Inc, opened a limited preview to its latest cloud-based email product, Alto.   


The company has in an official statement shared that Alto has been designed to be used with existing email accounts, including Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, AOL Mail, .Mac and .me accounts. “This new, free email platform reimagines the email experience from the ground up with a focus on combatting inbox fatigue,” it adds. 


With Alto, the company aims to allow users to organise their email in such a way that they are the top of their experience. The service claims to bring together “powerful organisational features” to make for a clear user experience. Users of the service will not have to deal with inboxes overloaded with a constant flow of daily deals, newsletters, social notifications, and more. 


Users can organise the content in their email within stacks



Alto is based on the premise of 'organisation by design', and for this it uses a new tool called 'stacks'. The tool automatically pulls out and organises crucial bits of a user's inbox so that the contents are available for easy access and quick viewing. Users also have the option to drag and drop individual emails to create their own stacks based on sender, recipients, key words, and more. Interestingly, Alto does not require a new email address and users can begin by entering credentials for their Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, AOL Mail, or .Mac address. Alto also allows users to bring together and access multiple email accounts to organise all of their inboxes in a single, web-accessible workspace.


"We built Alto for people who believe, as we do, that organization is beautiful, who are overloaded with email and aren't happy with the status quo of existing email experiences," said Joshua Ramirez, Senior Director of Product for AOL Mail. "The way we use email has changed radically over the years, but the core email application experience hasn't. We've taken a deep look at how people use email now, and designed an application around that reality."


"When you sort through physical mail, you put it into stacks because it's a natural way to decide what's important, what's junk, and what to save for later. We wanted to recreate that experience with Alto, but make it intelligent and automatic, to easily deal with the hundreds of emails we get every day," continued Ramirez.


One of Alto’s features in Stacks – Alto automatically creates stacks, this way users are presented with an option to sort out a cluttered email inbox. Stacks on Alto are built around the important pieces of a user's email, are intuitively designed.


Interestingly, the service comes pre-loaded with stacks, which will automatically bring up photos, attachments, and social notifications, retailers and daily deals


Users can try drag and drop emails to create customized stacks. Customized stacks will get automatically updated as new emails arrive in each stack.


Ramirez concluded "Alto brings together some truly fresh thinking about online communication with the depth of experience that you'd expect from the company that's been offering consumer email longer than anyone else in the market."


Alto is available in limited preview today, accepting new users on a first come, first serve basis. New users can sign up for a free account at

Published Date: Oct 19, 2012 05:42 pm | Updated Date: Oct 19, 2012 05:42 pm