The Russians are coming! In fact, they’ve just arrived – with a suite of new apps from Russian Web giant Mail.ru that bring more options for email, mobile messaging, and mobile gaming, all available at its new home in the US, My.com.
The first app in the My.com arsenal is the myMail email client, available for both iOS and Android, which works with all the major webmail providers (Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, etc) and any other email service that uses either IMAP or POP3 service. MyMail also brings real-time push notifications, and a privacy feature that lets your hide messages from particular contacts.
When available, myMail also integrates your contacts’ avatars next to messages for quick scans of your inbox, and automatically displays company logos for messages sent by social networks or other services. By incorporating avatars into email, myMail “makes the user experience with email much more friendly, and engaging,” says Dmitry Grishin, CEO and Chairman of Mail.ru. It also allows you to sift out the emails you want to delete more easily.
Next up is myChat, a cross-platform messaging client that’s similar to competing products like WhatsApp. MyChat lets you send photos and videos to Android or iOS devices for free, and also includes a free VOIP phone and video calling feature similar to Skype.
Last but not least is myGames, which gives users access to a “growing” collection of free games, like Jungle Heat and Poker Arena. My.com also has a new camera app, MyCamera, which will be launching soon.
All My.com apps are free, and only include advertisements for My.com games, not from third-party advertisers. They are also exclusive to the US market, though Grishin says that much of the technology behind the apps, including its VOIP and messaging systems, were developed in Russia. Mail.ru, incidentally, is no stranger to mobile and Web technology; it is one of Russia’s leading technology companies, and reaches some 100 million users a month. And Grishin has been described as a “Russian Elon Musk” for his efforts in robotics innovation and other high-tech endeavors.
We haven’t had much hands-on time with the apps yet, but myMail in particular looks like a major step up from Apple’s Mail app for iOS. Give ‘em a try, and let us know what you think!