Shortwave’s year in review 2022

December 28, 2022

5 min read

2022 has been a big year for us, and we wanted to take a moment to reflect on how far we’ve come in the last 12 months.

In February, we launched our initial product: a new email client for professionals that aims to rebuild email from the ground up for speed and productivity. Since then, we’ve been hard at work. 101 features, 3,891 PRs, and 754 improvements later, we’ve given you the power to automate your inbox and harness the full potential of labels – making it easier than ever to cut through the noise and focus on what matters most. We reinvented the compose experience for the modern era, so you can seamlessly write emails. You spend, on average, 4 hours a day in your inbox, so we wanted that experience to be snappy, sleek, and intuitive.

We’re excited to continue the journey of developing the next generation email client – we have big plans – but today let’s take a look back at all that we’ve accomplished together this year.

What we launched this year

Email essentials
Inbox controls
Streamlined, chat-like interface
Powerful search
Hundreds of improvements

🏗️ Email essentials

After we launched in February, our top focus was closing core feature gaps with Gmail. We received an influx of requests for labels, delete, account switching, and more, which we prioritized on our roadmap this year.

Labels

  • Gmail labels sync to Shortwave
  • Labels page to view and manage all labels
  • Ability to favorite labels in the new sidebar
  • Support for multiple Gmail category labels per thread
  • Label names and colors are displayed in thread previews

Delete

  • Delete is a top-level action on threads and bundles across our apps
  • Keyboard shortcut # to delete
  • Swipe to delete on iOS

Multi-account support

  • Sync and switch between all of your Gmail accounts in one tab / device on web & iOS
  • Swipe to switch accounts on iOS
  • Keyboard shortcut Ctrl # for switching on web

Dark mode

  • Native dark mode support on all platforms
  • Dark mode email conversion
  • Turn on/off dark mode independent of system theme from the settings page

Send from alias

  • Ability to change sending alias from the compose box

📥 Inbox controls

We introduced powerful new features to automatically keep inboxes organized, including; magic labels, bundling by label, batched delivery, skip inbox, and push notification settings.

Custom bundles

  • Bundle controls for labels, senders, channels, and mailing lists
  • Automated senders bundle together by default
  • Customizable bundling precedence

Batched delivery

  • Ability to deliver specific bundles to your inbox at custom times
  • Option to force batched delivery from the Snoozed page

Auto-apply magic labels

  • Magic labels remember when they are applied and auto-apply themselves to future emails from the same senders by default
  • Built-in newsletter label automatically applies to known newsletter senders
  • Ability to designate which labels auto-apply based on sender
  • View and manage which senders auto-apply per labels

Push notifications

  • More fine-grained controls for what labels, senders, channels, and mailing lists send push notifications
  • Smarter default notifications for people from the same custom domain
  • Overrides for specific groups

Skip inbox

  • Labels, senders, channels, and mailing lists can be set to skip your inbox and automatically be marked as done
  • Skip inbox filters sync back to Gmail

Bundle notes

  • "Add note" option for drag & drop bundles instead of a label

🏎️ Streamlined, chat-like interface

In 2022, we made Shortwave blazingly fast. We overhauled the inbox and compose experience to match modern chat apps with keyboard shortcuts, rich text, markdown, and mentions for managing recipients and participants.

Redesigned inbox

  • Thread summaries now include:
    • inline label chips
    • sender name lists
    • attachment indicators
    • better dark mode contrast
  • Threads open inline in the inbox on web
  • Longer thread previews for wider screens

Redesigned sidebar

  • Collapsible sidebar supported with keyboard shortcut \
  • Conversations were removed from the sidebar to simplify app navigation

Faster, more confident replies

  • Recipient names are clearly listed while composing messages
  • Reference thread participants on iOS with new dividers
  • Minus mention using the “-” key to remove a recipient from a thread

Fullscreen reading & compose

  • Option to enter full-screen reading mode
  • Compose new drafts in full-screen with a larger compose box

Retry failed messages

  • Failed messages can be re-sent with a single click
  • Failed to send messages now appear in drafts

Search has been completely refactored to be faster, smarter, and more intuitive with easily accessible filters and terms. Search is now 4x faster than it was at launch, allowing you to build complex queries to locate the right information, right when you need it.

4x faster

  • Backend improvements made search 4x faster, surfacing results in < 1 second, even for large inboxes
  • Brought average query result latency down to ~250ms

Intuitive search & filters

  • Redesigned search bar to make finding emails faster and more intuitive
  • Search filters based on contacts, groups, labels, mailing lists, and keywords
  • New search page headers for easy access to additional filters, settings, and compose

iOS search & navigation parity

  • Brought iOS up to speed with the desktop experience, so you can quickly search based on contact, label, and keyword
  • Drafts, sent, done, and snoozed messages are now accessible from the bottom navigation bar

🛠️ Hundreds of other improvements

For the sake of this post ending, we won’t list all 754 improvements made this year. But we would be remiss if we didn’t highlight some of our underrated quality of life improvements for complete stress-free email productivity.

Snooze upgrades

  • "Last used" option in the snooze time picker
  • Smarter NLP snooze (ex: typing "3d" for 3 days)
  • Unified snooze format in timestamps, toasts, and banners across the app

iOS improvements

  • Updated the Shortwave iOS iPad app to support landscape mode
  • Set app appearance without changing your system theme
  • Change swipe action direction
  • Ability to set Shortwave as the default email app

Drag & drop

  • Inbox auto-scrolls when trying to drag & drop something off the screen
  • Updated visual drop indicators and highlighted areas make it clear where in the inbox an item is landing

Click-to-copy

  • Code blocks, code snippets, and email subject lines can all be copied to your clipboard with a single click

Reliable resources

A big “thank you!” to our community

So many things about the product have changed, but one thing remains the same — you. This year was so much more than new features and fixes. It was about the incredible community that built our product roadmap with us and the 691 feature requests we received across support channels, social media, and our exclusive Shortwave community.

Reinventing email for 2023 isn’t a light task, and we couldn’t do it without you. If it’s been a while since you’ve last checked out Shortwave, or you weren’t able to use it because a vital feature was missing, we encourage you to sign in (or sign up!) and give it another shot to see just how powerful Shortwave has become in this short amount of time. We've come a long way since launch, and Shortwave is ready to be your daily email driver.

As always, you can email us at support@shortwave.com for feedback, questions, or to join the Shortwave community.

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