A universal iPhone email: Microsoft, Google, catch up!

Apple may soon be offering a universal mailbox for iPhone users. Would this be a major breakthrough in 'boring and outdated' email? Post

Steve Jobs recently leaked, though "leak" probably isn't the operative word as he openly told a user his plans, that a universal mailbox would be coming soon to iPhone users. It is unclear at this point not only how this will work, but some speculate that it could be arriving with the iPad release.

This is something that some companies are taking on as a product and plugging left, right and center (no PR emails, please) but not something taken up by the cloud companies themselves. As a student, I have not only university mailboxes to check, but also an array of personal accounts from Hotmail to Gmail - all used for different things - and a work account also. This makes life more complicated than it should be but it's something we have accustomed ourselves to as a necessary evil.

But this is something other companies should be jumping on. Gmail tries to do this, and does it relatively well, and granted Hotmail allows linked accounts to switch from one to another with no more than a couple of clicks, yet BlackBerry users need separate accounts to switch between.

Though because personal accounts are very often entirely separate from work or university email accounts, there's no connection between the two, requiring a log out and log in, or a switch in programs used. Desktop applications such as Thunderbird, Windows Live Mail or Outlook have made this somewhat easier, but mobile users still have to switch between accounts.

The Generation Y see email as being "boring and outdated", when in fact it isn't. But a rethink in how we use email and specifically simplifying use for mobile users - which most students are - is something Apple is embracing, whereas Microsoft, Google and Research in Motion have yet to catch up to speed on.

Would you prefer a single mailbox with multiple accounts?

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