What Happened to MailboxApp.com?

Pubblicato da Viola Eva il gennaio 30, 2019

Mailbox was an email app for iPhone, introduced in 2013 by a startup going by the name Orchestra. Prior to its inception, more than one million prospective users had signed up to try it. Judging by the hype, the service stood high chances of becoming tremendously popular, yet the tide turned one short month after Mailbox had been launched. Namely, the app was bought by Dropbox, for a reported $100 million in cash and stock.

Back then, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston didn’t hide his excitement.  “Many have promised to help us with our overflowing inboxes, but the Mailbox team actually delivered”, Houston was quoted as saying.

For a while, the Dropbox-acquired app appeared to be a success. Mailbox for Android and a public beta version for macOS were released in 2014, but then Mailbox’s development was slowed down and, eventually, abandoned altogether, with Mailbox desktop app for Mac never making it out of the beta phase. New features failed to deliver much-needed breakthroughs and were soon given up on. In July 2015, Mailbox was discontinued.

The outcome might have seemed surprising to the users, but was not wholly unexpected for the investors, some of which had tried and failed to warn Dropbox decision makers beforehand. Back then, as well as now, it was common knowledge that most users are content with default mail apps. Although businesses admittedly tend to buy software for the employees, people rarely buy it for private purposes. Not to mention, Mailbox was limited to Gmail and iCloud accounts exclusively.

We may never learn the additional reasons for the shutdown. Dropbox didn’t expand much, stating simply that they had decided to “increase our focus on collaboration”.  We realized there’s only so much an email app can do to fundamentally improve email,” an official announcement read – whatever that may mean.

Relying on the insights from the failed app, Dropbox went on to launch Dropbox Paper, a free service described as a “workspace that brings creation and coordination together in one place.” Mailbox has never been heard of again since. And that would have been the end of the story, if not for the fact that Google made a similar attempt and failed no less spectacularly (see below).  

Mailbox Features

Mailbox app boasted elegant simplicity and made the lives of Gmail users considerably easier.  Namely, the app allowed for adding multiple Gmail accounts, browsed through by simple swiping. With a quick performance and fast connectivity, Mailbox was a serious alternative to other similar apps.

For business users (or mostly them), Mailbox offered the ability to postpone reading new messages (“Snooze”), using timed periods. Simply put, the messages in question would be temporarily removed, then appear again at a pre-set time.

The most popular feature was Auto-Swipe, which worked similarly to Gmail’s own filters. Depending on the user’s behavior, the feature would automatically archive certain messages.

Alternative Email Apps

The doom of Mailbox proved to be an inconvenience for the users, but the sentiment was short-lived. After all, it’s not that there is a shortage of alternatives. Free email apps are numerous and competitive, which, as a rule, results in improved features and new services. We will hereby name some of the best loved ones, based on their popularity.

 

  • Outlook

 

Microsoft’s Outlook is one of the most popular choices, and for a good reason. It is simple to use, offers a fair number of features and steps up the process of checking and sending emails. It features smart filters and cleans the inbox with a swipe. The app is used widely and is continually gaining popularity.

 

  • Gmail

 

Gmail is one of the most commonly used email services. The continual improvements contribute to its popularity. Google also tried integrating a Mailbox-like service called Inbox, but the latter is due to be discontinued in late March 2019. Inbox sorts incoming messages into both pre-set and user-created labels (Promos, Social, etc.).

The reasons for the decision are not widely known, but judging by the popularity of the email client, it is evident that Google does not need invite-only apps to boost Gmail usage.

 

  • Spark

 

A relative newcomer, Spark offers some interesting features benefiting both private- and business users. To begin with, it integrates with Google Drive, Dropbox and Pocket, and sorts emails into personal, newsletter and notification boxes. As regards to businesses, Spark allows for creating, discussing and sharing email with colleagues. It also features a real-time editor for composing professional emails. The app boasts email templates that make sending similar messages as easy as it gets. Finally, the app allows for assigning emails to team members and the ability to set deadlines, track progress and get notified when the task gets done.

 

  • Airmail

 

Airmail is an email client for iOS and macOS. It helps users keep track of multiple email accounts in one place and features a quick and easy-to-use interface. The app creators boast to have “taken usability and function to the next level,” by which they imply beautiful design and support for all major email services.

 

  • Boxer

 

Boxer is an email service available for iOS and Android. It is very similar to Mailbox, mainly in the domain of swipes, which allow for seamless message archiving, deleting and labeling. Similarly to Spark, Boxer offers quick-reply email templates and brings together the email service, contacts and calendar.

The Future of Email

With email marketing campaigns being the cheapest and most effective marketing tool, it is only to expect that email services and apps will get more sophisticated in the future. Adding to the mix the rising trend of outsourcing, remote workplaces and the markets going global, we can safely expect new messaging breakthroughs, and soon at that.

Speculating about the types of those is fruitless, but some guesses are safer than others. Keeping the insights and stats in mind, currently trending are remote workplace apps that make communication fast and reliable and come coupled with a variety of feats, such as tagging, notifications and integration. Slack is a perfect example: it’s fast, easy to use, features a fair number of functionalities, and allows for both private and group messaging.

Therefore, we’d argue it’s safe to predict that emailing of the future will shift towards fast messaging, connectivity, real-time communication, and multi-functionality. There’s an app that provides a glimpse into that future: Spike. Spike is a multi-platform email client featuring personal messaging in the shape of a chat, freed of the standard elements as to allow for speed and increased deliverability.  In short, it turns emails into instant messages, but the possibilities don’t end there. Scilicet, Spike also allows for creating group chats (similar to Slack), making voice and video calls, and adding multiple email accounts (any email provider).

Says Spike CEO Dvir Ben-Aroya:

“Something fundamental has changed with the way people are communicating. It’s much more human and based on conversation. So we took all the benefits of email plus all the benefits of conversation and instant messaging and merged them to create one unified platform.”

 

And Then There’s Mailbird …

Mailbird is a convenient tool offering a range of great features to make everyday email usage as seamless as it gets. For starters, it has a unified inbox, which allows the user to manage all messages and contacts from multiple accounts in one centralized place. Designwise, Mailbird has a customizable layout, allowing for personalized, creative freedom. Dark and Lite themes are just the beginning; free color themes are abundant.

As regards extras, there is a range of built-in apps, including, but not limited to, Facebook, Whatsapp, Dropbox, Twitter, Google Calendar and Asana. Similar to the latter, Mailbird features a snooze option, which is a convenience for everyone with a busy schedule. A Linkedin Lookup option allows for a seamless connection to the service, and it takes Mailbird only one click to perform the task.  

Finally, two features we find extremely helpful are Speed Reader and Attachment Search. The first allows for fast reading and re-reading of messages and the latter, which creates a stellar lookup through all attachments.

Like other email clients aiming to establish themselves in the long run, Mailbird features multi-language support (17 languages in total) and shortcuts that make composing, replying, forwarding and archiving a piece of cake.

 

As you can see, even though Mailbox is no longer an option, there are several email apps available to suit just about every level and facet of your business. Explore each one as you make a choice, and before long, you’ll be saving precious hours every week!


Viola Eva

Viola Eva

SEO Consultant from Flow SEO

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