Astro is the most recent e mail app so as to add a constructed-in calendar so that you can turn immediately among your inbox and an inventory of your upcoming occasions. But for Astro, the addition could sooner or later be even more helpful than it is in different places: the app’s massive hook is the inclusion of an AI assistant that scans your emails and makes suggestions for you to take action on. That’ll be applied to the calendar too, which might, in conception, make dealing with new meetings a breeze — although it’s still a long way from getting there.
the brand new calendar, in order to be to be had inside Astro’s iOS, Android, and macOS app after an replace these days, may also be accessed with a faucet on the backside of the app’s screen, making it really easy to modify to and from the inbox. By default it uses an time table view — that’s blank and straightforward to read, as long as you don’t have too many events — and there’s also an not obligatory single- and 3-day view, in case you prefer a more traditional online calendar look. a large floating “plus” button means that you can add a new event, but sadly there’s no natural language beef up, so you’ll have to fill out each field personally.
The AI features have a lot of room to enhance the calendar
For the time being, the calendar looks like a at hand addition but one with so much of room for expansion. It handiest works with Gmail and Administrative Center 365 at the moment (like the electronic mail component of the app), and more importantly, Astrobot — the app’s good assistant — can’t scan your emails to counsel including new occasions. Anyone emailed me the day past with a obviously written date for a meeting, however the app didn’t counsel including it to my calendar, leaving me to do it myself. In fairness, none of my other email apps prompt including a calendar entry both, but that’s the sort of useful function that would help convince people to switch to Astro.
Astro CEO Andy Pflaum says that that is “something we plan to introduce within the future.” Toughen for iCloud is also on the most sensible of the workforce’s checklist for brand new services and products.
there may be limited integration among the calendar and Astrobot at this time: though there isn’t herbal language strengthen inside the calendar itself, there may be inside of Astrobot. So if you happen to pull up the smart assistant, you’ll be able to upload an adventure by means of typing out the details. Or a minimum of, you’re presupposed to be able to. I noticed Pflaum effectively do this in a demo, but I’ve been trying out a beta of the most recent liberate for a couple days, and haven’t been able to get it to work.
Small design changes make the app a lot easier to navigate
The addition of the calendar comes at the side of a mild redesign of the app, which i believe makes it so much easier to navigate. It now has tabs on the bottom on your inbox, your calendar, and the app’s settings. Extra importantly, Astro’s AI features are actually damaged up into two portions: there’s an “insights” tab the place it’ll deliver ideas — one i have right now means that an electronic mail may be “time sensitive” as it contains an upcoming date — after which there’s some other tab just for the bot, which you’ll type or check with as a way to get issues performed. They used to be combined in a single chatbot interface, which was more or less confusing for those who just wanted suggestions on what to do.
i love Astro’s concepts for serving to people paintings through their inbox, but to this point, I haven’t discovered its AI or interface any further useful than something like Google’s Inbox. regardless of those new enhancements, i find the interface tougher to read at a glance, and the tips aren’t much more useful. Astro additionally tended to alert me to extra emails that I didn’t care about; regardless that in fairness, I had handiest been the usage of it for a pair days, so it’s going to nonetheless have needed time to be told.
Though Astro is available at no cost for everyone to download, it’s always been focused on in the end creating a trade around enterprise customers. That makes the calendar an especially helpful additional, even though it’s pretty elementary at release.
Pflaum says the next large Astro unlock will start to deliver not obligatory, paid options for undertaking shoppers who wish to widely adopt its app. That’ll come with an integration with Salesforce and different “prime workplace services and products,” so that Astro’s AI can start to assist firms determine which consumers’ and purchasers’ inquiries need to be addressed first.