Nextcloud Mail users will be pleased with the new AI-based inbox. Learn the ins and outs of this new feature.
Nextcloud continues to push the boundaries offered by its on-premise cloud solution. This open source platform is a great addition to large and small data centers. With the release of NextCloud 19 (aka Nextcloud Hub), developers have worked hard to make this platform more efficient and user friendly. In particular, one feature that might improve eyebrows for many admins and users is AI-driven inboxes.
The latest iteration of the Nextcloud Mail application introduces Priority Inbox. This new feature that focuses on machine learning is built on the recent introduction of Nextcloud from the message cache system to not only improve the performance of email applications, but to learn from your email habits. The new application can track frequent emails (along with other factors) to present your email as:
You can manually classify emails as favorites or important and AI will learn from what you have marked.
I want to show you how to use this new feature with Nextcloud. If your installation does not offer this feature, we will make sure.
What do you need
You will need to install Nextcloud, version 18 or newer. You will also need a Nextcloud account that has admin rights for your implementation and email account settings in Nextcloud.
How to improve the Mail application
To use the Mail application that is powered by AI, you must update it to version 1.4.0. To do this, enter your Nextcloud instance with the admin user then click on your profile picture in the upper right corner. From the popup menu, select Applications.
In the resulting window, scroll down until you see the letter entry. If you see a blue oval, say Update To 1.4.0, click on it (Figure A). Because you have just logged in as an admin user, you should not be asked for an admin password. If so, type the password and after you successfully authenticate, the update will begin and finish.
Upgrading the Nextcloud Mail application to an AI driven version.
After you upgrade, there is nothing left to configure – the AI inbox only works.
How to use the new Mail app
Once again, I assume you already have an email account that is connected to Nextcloud. If you have not resolved it, read How to add email to your Nextcloud server and you should have no problem getting your email account settings with Nextcloud.
Carefully, click the Mail application on the Nextcloud toolbar. After the new email is scanned through your inbox, you will see a different layout in the left sidebar (Figure B).
The new Mail 1.4.0 inbox layout.
To view an AI-driven inbox, click Priority Inbox. To only see the inbox associated with the account you want to read, click Inbox. To see all inboxes for all accounts, click All Inbox.
How to mark emails manually
One of the best ways to help NextCloud Mail AI is to mark e-mail manually. Yes, it will learn from the people you often email, but you still have to get used to marking contacts or companies that you don’t interact with often.
To do this, click on the Inbox, find the email to mark, and click the corresponding menu button (three horizontal dots). From the popup menu, choose Favorite or Mark Important (Figure C).
Mark emails manually to help the learning process of AI Mail.
How to activate the learning feature
If you find the Priority, Favorite, and Other inboxes don’t receive new e-mail, you might have to sign in and actually activate the feature. This must be enabled by default, but your instance may fail to set this feature automatically.
To enable Mail application (AI) data collection, open Mail, then click the Settings wheel at the bottom right of the application. Make sure Allow Applications to Collect Data is checked (Figure D).
Enabling AI features for Nextcloud Email.
Once you’ve overcome this, give Mail a little time to start learning your habits and you will see a big improvement in your mail collection in the Important, Favorites, and More inboxes.
And that’s all that is in the AI NextCloud Mail feature. For anyone who uses the email application in a click Next this new addition should go a long way to keeping your inbox organized and efficient.