There has been quite the buzz around Mailbox since it was first announced and previewed. The promise of an email experience that will rival that of the inbuilt Mail app for iOS, and it looks like they’ve delivered that promise with its launch yesterday. For those of you that knew this day was coming, you’d have signed up to the waiting list for a “reservation number”; something that you need to activate the app upon downloading. Have no fear if you didn’t though, because you can apply for a reservation number in the app and see how many people are in the “queue” in front of you for one, and how many people are behind you waiting for it.
The only way that I can describe Mailbox is the lovechild of Sparrow and Clear – a beautifully made email app with To Do List functionality. Most of us will get emails with various tasks in them – whether it be from school, college, University or work. What do we usually do? Read and forget about them? Add the notes to a reminders app? Well with Mailbox, you can organise them into your own To Do style folders within the app.
Swipe features are heavily integrated into this app, and I think that contributes to its amazing functionality. Simply swipe right to mark an email as Read and move it to the “All Mail” folder (which isn’t your inbox, it’s a separate folder that’s created). Want to delete the message? Swipe right for a bit longer until the icon changes to a X, then simply let go and the email is gone. Get an email that you want to be re-reminded of at a later date? Simply swipe left and you’ll be given options on when to be reminded.
That is one of my favourite features of the app. Countless times I’ve received an email, read it and completely forgotten about it when I was meant to reply when I wasn’t busy. Not any more though! If you want to add the email to any of your customisable To Do Lists, simply long swipe left until the icon changes to a folders icon. Once you’re done with the email in the list, just swipe right and it’ll be added to the All Mail folder. It’s that simple.
Mailbox completely clears your inbox so that only unread/important emails are in your main inbox, while everything else is put in corresponding folders, all accessible both in app and on any internet browser/other email app. This might worry you though. What if you have, like me, over 2000 emails on one email account that you need to organise into folders and “All Mail”? Don’t worry, they’ve got you covered. Scrolling to the bottom of your inbox, you will find a prompt for help where you can archive all existing emails to your All Mail folder!
The composition window is simplistic and allows you to insert photos and videos directly from the window, and font styling options are also available once text is highlighted, much like the stock Mail app. The email conversation view is also beautifully displayed, and with a tap of a particular email you’ll expand that email. One thing it doesn’t do too well though is dealing with attachments. I received a PDF file in an email but I wasn’t notified that there was even an attachment, let alone let me view it. It can handle photos and videos, but apart from that, I’m not too sure where the boundaries are. Bit of a bummer really.
Mailbox also does something that Sparrow could never (legitimately, anyway) do. There are push notifications for your emails! There’s customisation in terms of badge display too; you can have the inbox conversation count, have “1” displayed for new messages or just have no badges altogether.
All this good news has to be coupled with bad news (for some). Mailbox only supports GMail accounts. There are ways around this which I’ve had to do, as I have more than 1 email address and some aren’t GMail. I’ve redirected all my mail from any Live/iCloud addresses to my GMail address – it’s a lot less complicated than it sounds, so that’s a plus! Good news to counter that pinch of salt, though; the app is completely free and available for download now. You can grab it here from the App Store. What do you think of Mailbox? Is it taking over from any other mail app you have? Let us know your thoughts below!