Peek axes first-gen emailer service in favor of cloud

Dedicated email messenger specialist Peek has finally killed off its first-gen device, dropping support for the handheld in favor of its multi-platform cloud strategy. Launched in September 2008, the Peek promised a far simpler – and cheaper – mobile email experience than what you'd get from a smartphone, pulling in unlimited messages over GPRS for around $10 per month.

The original Peek spawned a successor, the Peek9, which is still active today. That threw in unlimited SMS messaging, though the service has since been deactivated as Peek's text message gateway partner shut down.

Instead, Peek is looking to its so-called "Genius Cloud", designed to run on any hardware from a basic dumbphone through featurephones and up to full smartphones. Peek's servers handle data from Twitter, Facebook, email accounts and FourSquare, squirting real-time updates to devices running Android, BREW, Java and other platforms.

The company currently offers Peek for Android, a trimmed down "Peek Mail" client that promises reduced battery consumption, faster speed, an improved UI and more, though the company's real goal is to partner with manufacturers and carriers.