Emails that ask you to do things get buried with everything else. When you just need to confirm your email address, you have to go to your inbox, find the email, wait for it to load, find the link, and then tap on the link. Wouldn't it be more convenient to go receive a a push notification that takes you directly to the website link from the email?
How it works
Authenticate with Gmail on the mobile app. Context.IO tells us whenever you receive a new email. Then, we parse the email for actionable items: email confirmation links, calendar invites, etc. That information is then given to you in a push notification!
Challenges I ran into
Context.IO has no working sample apps for mobile and uses the deprecated and complex OAuth 1.0 authentication protocol. In order to use their API, we had to implement OAuth request signing on Android, iOS, and on our backend (Python).
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
OAuth is notoriously tricky to implement on mobile, but we did it for both iOS and Android for the first time! It was also our first time setting up a backend server, and it actually (sort of) works!
What I learned
- How to implement OAuth on mobile with app scheme redirects
- How to set up a Flask server
- How to use bootstrap and HTML / CSS (our website)
- The Context.IO API ## What's next for Motif
- An email metadata API for specifying custom actions for Motif
- Fully fleshed out app with account management and notifications settings
- Greater support for email types (i.e. Github subscription emails, one tap login emails)