A change is coming to email thanks to Google, but maybe not as quickly as you would like. Google announced that the Gmail API would be ten times faster than IMAP, but that current limitations are preventing a quick launch. The API aims to extend email since an application would be able to access Gmail without having a separate mail client. The current goal of the API is to open up space in the email app category, a space that is limited to businesses that are able to spend a significant amount of time building a seperate email client.
Currently the Gmail API is unable to produce push notifications and anyone with a large inbox would suffer due to the limited number of API requests you can make per day. Applications made with the Gmail API will also have the downside of only working with Gmail.