Philipp Seibel of eightloops let us know that his company was working on a fresh new take on the OS X email client. There has been a bit of a resurgence in the interest of alternative Mail clients since the launch and acquisition of Sparrow, which has left some customers abandoned.
Eightloops' new client is called Unibox and borrows a lot of organization and interface cues from chat clients like Messages. Like Messages, the interface consists of two panes: contacts on the left and messages on the right. The contact list is ordered by last received message and all emails from that contact are consolidated into that one entry:
Due to the fact that contacts only appear once in the list, many short back-and-forth emails don't clutter your inbox, they just result in moving the respective contact to the top. Another nice side effect is that notification emails from twitter, facebook, amazon etc don't spam your inbox but are limited to one entry in your contact list.
On the right side, incoming messages are displayed in a chat-like interface with incoming on the left and outgoing on the right. Outgoing messages are also written in the right hand column with support for editing, formatting, and attachments.
Meanwhile, attachments from a single contact can be viewed in a Finder-like interface. Seibel notes that this creates an interesting side effect:
Displaying attachments this way creates some interesting new views on your emails and contacts. Attachment grids of a family member or friend mostly look like shared photo albums while attachment lists of co-workers and business partners are like a shared dropbox that contains all the relevant business documents like design assets, word documents, excel sheets, etc.
Seibel wasn't willing to release full interface screenshots quite yet, but expects the app to be released this winter. They have set up a teaser page at UniboxApp.com that will notify you when the app is released. Seibel's company has been a longtime Mac developer, but has focused on contractual work in the past. This is their major independent Mac project that they've been working on for over a year.