The iPhone’s default email app is an infuriating experience, as is OS X’s. That said, I no longer use an iPhone, and instead have relied on the native Gmail apps that exist on my Nexus 4. It’s not exactly a breath of fresh air, but a leap above my previous experience with iOS 6, and one that allows me to manage my communications far more efficiently from device to device. However, it still lacks a few of the features that are offered in Mailbox, a revolutionary iPhone only email app.
So, first off, I have no idea if they have plans to release this app for the Android platform. It’s also worth noting that Mailbox is designed to work with only Gmail, at least for now. So what makes this email app special, or more unique than say, Sparrow? Well, it effectively converts email into task management, if need be. Swiping an email partially to the right designates it read, signified by a green check mark. A full swipe to the right deletes the email, illustrated by a red “x” mark. Needless to say, frustration could occur as there is a somewhat fine line to marking something read verses deleting it. The true genius, though, arrives in the form of swiping on an email to the left, which presents the user with a variety of alarm like options, or put more simply set a task to address that email at a later time. They include: later today, this evening, tomorrow, this weekend, next week, in a month, someday, or a date of your choosing. Lastly, it would seem that you also can manually order emails according to your tastes.
Based on the company’s short demo video, the Mailbox app looks very speedy, with little or no lag from action to action. However, you can’t select a number of emails at the same time for the same action, as you would in the iOS 6′s native email client. Though, you can scroll down to what appears to show the number of unread emails, select it, and set those to be managed later – presumably you can delete, or mark them as read as well, but that’s not depicted in the short video.
The Mailbox app for iOS is available now in the App Store for free. Unfortunately, there is a waiting list to actually use it since the app requires some server-side calls due to the task management component. To reserve your spot, simply download the app.