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Mailbox App Review

Posted on May 19, 2012

Background

Since getting my very first iPhone back at the initial launch in 2007 I’ve always been an avid promoter of Apple’s built in Mail.app. I liked it’s simplicity, it’s unified inbox, it’s swipe to delete and nice compose page among other great features.

Over the years I’ve tried many alternative email apps in the hope that one day it might take proud place on my dock, forcing the standard mail app to a redundant folder. These alternatives included Sparrow and Gmail, two of the best iPhone replacement email clients on the App store. Despite ‘wanting’ to like them I still found myself subconsciously reverting back to Apples implementation, that was until Mailbox came along…

The wait.

Having almost given up hope of ever replacing the stock email app, I wasn’t immediately excited by the launch of Mailbox. By the time I eventually downloaded the app I was already late to the ‘media buzz’ and found myself at position 777,000 in the queue. Despite my disappointment, I thought the whole waiting list idea was quite novel, it was satisfying to see the number gradually decrease and added some anticipation to the experience. In all honesty I’d almost forgotten about the app by the time Mailbox had been bought by Dropbox, at which point, to my excitement, my position seemed to drop from around 200,000 to first in less than 2 days (funding for more servers?).

Re-imagining the inbox

Upon first entering the app you’re presented with a short informative tutorial on how to use the basic features. For those who’ve not used Mailbox before, it introduces a whole new concept for managing your mail (for me anyway). The idea is that you ‘action’ your emails each day with the goal of emptying out your inbox, at which point you’re greeted by a beautiful landscape or similar image as a kind of ‘well done’. I’ll admit, this concept works extremely well, you get a sense of satisfaction and I find myself ‘actioning’ my emails on a daily basis. So what is actioning?

Mailbox offers a number of ways in which you can ‘deal’ with your emails most of which are performed with natural swiping gestures. Swipe right to archive or delete, swipe left to set a reminder or move to a specific folder. The actions couldn’t be any more effortless and make managing your emails a joy. You can action multiple emails at once and he predetermined time intervals for reminders are spot on. Additional folders and menu items can be accessed using the obligatory ‘hamburger’ button you’re no doubt used to. Oh and it has a unified inbox so you don’t feel too far from home if you’re used to the stock mail app.

See what The Verge have to say about the app here:

 

Conclusion

I applaud what the team at Orchestra have done with Mailbox, it’s a must have app and best of all it’s free (and they’ve just released an update so it’s now compatible with the iPad). I’ve been using the app for the best part of 4 months now and I can’t see me ever going back to Apple’s implementation unless they bring some really special features as part of iOS7.

Pros

• Aesthetically it looks great
• Natural gestures make for easy transition
• Help you be more organised without being a chore

Cons

• Waiting list (if there still is one)
• Only on iPhone
• Occasional attachment issue