AOL (Engadget's former parent company) launched Alto Mail years ago in a bid to make sense of increasingly cluttered email with a slicker look and organizing features like the Dashboard. However, it's clear that this approach isn't alluring enough now that AOL has been absorbed into Verizon's Oath brand. The Alto team is telling customers that it's shutting down Alto Mail as it transitions to working on "something new and exciting" under Oath's umbrella. The mobile apps will no longer be available as of November 9th, and Alto is ending support for all apps on December 10th.
This doesn't mean that Alto's influence will vanish. On top of that mysterious project, the developers expect to incorporate their know-how into "current and future products and experiences." It still means that Alto Mail is going away, though, and it's clear between this and the AOL Instant Messenger shutdown that Oath isn't keen on preserving legacy services.
As it stands, Alto Mail faced an uphill battle in the market. Many email apps have cleaned up their designs, and it's harder to argue in favor of Alto when there are higher-profile rivals (like Google's Inbox) that also make sense of your messages. The main issue is arguably the loss of yet another alternative email client, at least for now. Like it or not, the field has been consolidating around official apps.
- This article originally appeared on Engadget.