The much hyped Mailbox is now running on my iPhone, finally. Having downloaded the app on 8th February 2013, I was able to use the app only on 3rd March, 2013. The reservation system was an idea by their team to avoid any ‘Server’ overloading during the launch and subsequently. I can understand as even just before my access, I noted that there were around 700,000 odd reservations and it was still increasing.
Yes. Server! Mailbox has a server that gets all the mails from Gmail and ‘push’ to your iPhone. Its basically a mediator. So you always have the risk of Mailbox server crashing.
The real Sparrow alternative!
Sparrow replaced my default Mail client easily. I continued using it even after it was abandoned. Their Gmail app isnt really great like Sparrow. So, once Mailbox was launched, I was as excited as many to use it. And from my 24 hour experience, I can definitely say that this surely redefines Mail app on iOS, again!
Free Email Client.
The best mail app is actually free!! Yes. Completely free. Atleast for now. The team plans to add some features to make the app “Freemium”. Still, this app is awesome.
Note: This app only support Gmail accounts. Yahoo! & other accounts are not supported.
The setup was a breeze. I was first greeted by Mailbox once the reservation is complete. Clicking on Add Gmail account, I was taken to the Gmail’s mobile login site. And on adding the credentials, Google then showed me the page where it wanted me to authorise the access. It seemed more like Facebook.
Once verified, I was asked to ass description and to name the account.
Then came the swipe gestures tutorial. But before that you have to remember this very vital order “Lists, Snooze, New Mail, Archive, Delete” with you always right in middle at New Mail. Short swipe from left to right would archive and longer swipe would delete the mail. Similarly, short swipe from right to left would snooze it and longer would list the mail.
The tutorial then said about the “Badge”. It seemed more like a tip than a tutorial itself.
The User Interface is very simple with no complications. It has 5 tiny icons on top. The top left icon takes you to the ‘Menu’ pane, if you can call it that way. But swipe from left to right would also bring the menu and swiping right to left would close the same.
The 3 icons on the middle are for the mails. The left one is ‘later’ label, followed by New Mail and to the right is Archive label. Then there is ‘Compose’ icon to create a mail.
Under the settings, you have the basics covered. From selecting default account to Notifications. Snoozes is worthy to be specially mentioned. You can set when the day / weekend starts and when your workday ends and what do you actually mean by ‘Later Today’ and ‘Someday’.
With Lists, you can make your own other than the default list available. Badge Count notifies you about the ‘unread conversations’ on the icon. I have never archived any mails before. So as you can see, I have 7000 messages unread.
Whats with Archiving?
You just put all your emails under “All Mails” and keep your inbox to zero! I have never done that but just beginning to use this feature. So Mailbox gave me an option to do it very simply by clicking on an the option below of New Mail.
With the screen showing “You’re all done”, it has a picture with MailBox symbol imposed. Just click on the picture would reveal the entire picture. Clicking on About Today’s Photo takes you the developers (I guess!) Instagram account. Nice to relax.
On touching the message, the message expand smoothly and gives you the subject with other details. You can star the mail in a touch, reply or forward or reply all easily. The reply seems more like a ‘Quick Reply’ and its neat.
You can attach photos easily, or add other email address from your contacts. On expanding the small arrow, you have the ‘cc’ & ‘bcc’ which is nice, as this doesn’t interfere with the reply and cramp the space on screen.
Composing a new message also brings the same Interface with adding the “To” email address manually being the only difference.
It felt refreshing to use this Email and I absolutely love it. The gestures are not hard to remember but sometimes I delete that I don’t want to, and archive that I want to delete. But with practise comes perfection. So it takes atleast few hours to get used to the gestures.
If you have never Archived your email before, its time to start using it. The snooze feature is the highlight and its very very handy.
Obviously, the reservation. You have to be patient for atleast 20 days I guess. Its not possible to do anything other than that app simply sitting on your screen and you calculate the time left to get your hands on it.
Also, no Yahoo! & Exchange support a big let off for people who use them. You can question the reliability of the servers also. Its been said that their went down few days ago for few hours. The security has also to be looked at. RIM’s were never hacked, but they are known for that. But as time goes by, sure the team would protect us from all these outages, not that we are facing any now!
Its free! Just download, wait for few weeks and see if it works out for you. I am very sure most would love.