Review: Mailbox App

The new app Mailbox for iPhone was released last Thursday – kind of. Anyone was (and has been) able to download the app, but with a catch. Whether it was really due to concern over a network overload (letting everyone start using the app at once) or simply a genius marketing ploy to keep the hype up – it seems to be working. A few weeks ago, people were invited to sign up for a reservation with the app through the Mailbox website. And the latecomers were able to sign up after – and still are (by downloading the app). After doing so, you’ll see the screen pictured below.. for quite some time. The blue number indicates how many users are in front of you and the gray number shows how many hopefuls are signed up after you.

Despite signing up for my reservation weeks ago, I had to wait until Monday – 4 days after the release to gain access. The suspense was killing me! But since I’ve had a few days to play with the app and know that the number of people “behind me” still waiting to use the app themselves is still pretty long, I thought I’d give you all an inside look into what you’ll be getting. Side note: There’s no way to tell exactly when the app will become available to you, but based on my waiting time, an average of 25k-ish reservations are ready each day.

First thing to keep in mind – the app is (currently) only compatible with Google Gmail accounts. Although this is awesome for anyone with a Gmail account, this is also a major con of the app. I’ve loved using it with my Gmail – finally sorting all of my messages – deleting and prioritizing. However, the bulk of the emails that come through my account are spam/junk from mailing lists I once signed up for (note to self – unsubscribe from some of these things). The app would absolutely be most effective synced with Microsoft Exchange/Outlook for work emails, especially on those days when the emails just keep coming through. As of now, there’s no release date for an update to allow access to other email networks.

There are 5 categories you can separate your mail into in this user intuitive app (which are shown in the tutorial once you’re in):

New Mail: This is the default category where all new messages will go. The sorting area if you will.

Archive: This category isn’t deleting but rather saying ok I’m done with this but want to keep it around just in case. To archive messages, swipe the message to the right until you see a green check mark.

Trash: To completely delete a message simply swipe to the right a little ways longer than you did with the archive – you’ll pass the green check mark and drag all the way over to the red x.

Later: This is my favorite feature. If there’s a message you don’t want to overlook but don’t necessarily have the time to respond to right away, swipe to the left until you see the yellow clock. From here, you’ll be able to select when the message will pop back up again, whether it be later in the evening, tomorrow, this weekend, etc.

Save to List: This feature is also pretty cool – especially with the number of junk-like emails that I receive on a daily basis. My favorite thing about this is adding an email about a sale to the “to buy” category. Whether I’ll actually make a purchase or not is an entirely different story. But it’s still cool to be able to categorize messages.

There isn’t a VIP feature like in the default Apple mail app. So if you’re expecting this app to but those important messages in the top of your inbox – it won’t. If you have a lot of existing emails, it’ll take a while to go through but it’s worth cleaning your inbox and putting messages in their place. And if you receive a lot of emails a day, I’d continue using the old mail app as well – you can’t delete it anyway.

Overall, I like the app. But it definitely hasn’t reached its full potential just yet. If you don’t have access yet, don’t fret. You’re not missing out on anything too exciting. Once we’re given access to the Outlook servers, this will definitely be an app you won’t want to be without. In the meantime, it is helpful and I’d definitely recommend downloading if you receive more than 5 emails a day.