Whether you like it or not, for most of us email inboxes are a critical part of our everyday lives. Many of us are connected nearly 24/7 with our smartphone devices, tablets, and laptops throughout the day. Naturally, the email app you use is essential because it's one of the most used apps on smart devices. Most people defer to the email app that comes with their smartphone, but email apps like the much ballyhooed Mailbox, can transform your experience reading and sorting your inbox.
I first read about the Mailbox app back in December on one of my favorite blogs. The design community was enthusiastic about the user-friendly interface and the intuitive swipe interface to archive, delete and save emails for later. I signed up for early access and waited until January when the app went live. Having forgotten that I already had a reservation and code set up, I accidentally got in line with over 400,000 in front of me waiting to use the app (and countless behind me).
After contacting their support group and several days of waiting, I got access to actually use Mailbox instead of just watching a queued wait list. So did it live up to the hype? After using Mailbox, I can report all the main features which built up excitement for the app work as advertised. Mailbox thoughtful design works hand in hand with an easy to learn gesture based interface. Essentially all mail can be archived and accessed under the Archive folder, and for the first time I have an empty inbox (INBOX ZERO!). A nice touch: the Inbox icon changes each day, to calming images like a field or the beach. I also like being able to categorize emails based on the direction I swipe and the duration.
I'm reluctant to turn off mail coming into my original Mail app, so now I get two notifications for the same Inbox, which sort of defeats the purpose of a stress-free email experience. Since I've been so familiar with my Mail app and how it syncs with my personal Gmail account and work email, I don't feel secure enough to completely shut it down and switch over. This is the same issue I ran into when I first started using the Gmail app versus the Mail app. Everything is already set up, familiar and synced in the Mail app, and it's difficult for me to move completely out of my comfort zone.
I stopped using the Gmail app because my work email is not under Google, and it was easier for me to sync my work email into the Mail app where my personal email is already synced as well. I'm running into the same problem with Mailbox now, but I'm definitely keeping it on my phone to see if I'm able to adapt.
Are you married to your Mail app or open to exploring and potentially moving completely to a new email app?
(Photos: 1, 2, 3 Taken by Julienne Lin, 4. iTunes Store, Gmail App)