Gmail has been frequently trying to change its layout and look. Perhaps they are never satisfied with their presentation and think that user might not as well. Fluent, a service created by a software development team consisting of ex-Google employees aims to give Gmail, a whole new look and feel. As they’d like to call it, Fluent transforms Gmail into a work-oriented stream.
Fluent gives Gmail a conversational layout. The entire look somehow seems a lot like that of Google+. As soon as you log in, your emails will appear as conversations, much like those on Facebook/Google+. You reply to mails similar to how you comment. On the left, you have a navigation pane with icons for starred items, all mail, attachments, to-do list etc. You can even view all your attachments separately. Fluent incorporates an instant search, similar to Google’s Insta-Search. Results start appearing as soon as you type a letter and are quickly refreshes as you go on typing.
The inbox view in Fluent has an infinite scroll, which means you do not need to click on ‘Next Page’ to see the next set of emails. Mails will start appearing as you keep scrolling down in your inbox. This is similar to Facebook’s wall scroll. You can add multiple account to Fluent and see at a glance whether any account has new message. Since it is still in the beta phase, Fluent can only handle only most recent six months of emails. The company is planning to launch a premium service for customers who want to avail all the features. You can have a look at the demo here
The service seems to be a mix of features from Gmail and social networking sites. Fluent seems to give a social feel to email. It is a welcome change, however its nothing that Google cannot easily incorporate into Gmail. Fluent has attracted thousands of subscribers for its beta. So much so that there is a 2 month wait for enrolling now. If Fluent gets even more popular, I wouldn’t be suprised if Google decided to revamp GMail and give it the same features. Come to think of it. They already have the framework for Google+, which they can use to give mail the conversation layout. Instant search integration should also not be a problem. It seems as if the success of Fluent..is its biggest threat! Here is the link to the demo again