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Reservations for unique 'Mailbox' iOS email client go live weeks ahead of launch

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Citing an expected high interest in its intuitive free email client, Mailbox on Tuesday opened up entries for a reservation system that will help manage demand when the app finally hits the App Store sometime in the coming weeks.

Mailbox Logo


From the same company that created the well received Orchestra To-do app, Mailbox attracted media attention last month when it released a video showing off the unique attributes of the email client. Interest was such that a reservation system is now being instituted to deal with what is expected to be overwhelming demand.

AppleInsider was able to try out a working beta of Mailbox over the past few weeks and found the app to be a solid accompaniment to a user's email workflow. The app is not built as a simple email reader, but instead as a type of "to-do" list for emails.



While a traditional email client lists unread messages, Mailbox's main inbox displays conversations that need immediate attention, allowing users to focus on their most important emails in a timely manner. Other, less important messages can be sent to a unique "Later" inbox for later perusal, while emails that are completed can be placed in an archive folder. In other words, it makes emails a checklist of things to do.

To facilitate the "to-do" functionality, Mailbox offers a unique set of "snooze buttons" that, when activated, will move an email conversation from the main inbox to the "Later" inbox. Users can select from a number of snooze options, like "later today, tomorrow, next month or sometime," that will bring the message string back into the main inbox at a predetermined time. For example, if a user receives an email that isn't urgent, but will require attention the next day, they can set the snooze for "tomorrow," which will take the conversation out of the active inbox and return it the next day. Snooze time settings are fully customizable.

Snooze Buttons
Mailbox Snooze button menu (left) and snooze settings.


The user interface is intuitive, with a clean negative space layout and bold iconography that is easy to understand and interact with. Reminiscent of the to-do app "Clear," users perform left and right swipe gestures to set snooze timers or move message strings to the archive folder, a customizable lists folder or to delete the conversation entirely.

Mailbox Gestures


As of this writing, only Gmail is supported, a main reason the app can't yet replace a full-fledged client like iOS Mail, but the company said it will be adding support for other services down the line.

Mailbox will be released in the App Store soon and the company will be filling reservations on a first-come, first-served basis. For those interested in the free app, click here to save a place in line.

Mailbox Reservation


Once a spot has been reserved, Mailbox will send out an SMS message with a unique reservation number denoting a customer's place in line. A private code will also be issued which will be needed to claim the app when the app is ready.
post #2 of 33
Don't get it. An App is an App (so clearly that is not where the "reservation" issue comes into play). So what is it? There has to be some person (employee) involvement on their end. That is the only reason for a "queue".
Creeps me out a little bit.
post #3 of 33
I agree. Why does there need to be a reservation system to download an app from Apple's App store? I've never heard of this being done before, and it makes no sense.

The concept of the app is cool, but being ONLY gmail, and ONLY iOS makes it a non usable app. If they had an app for the phone, and it would work in tandem with a desktop app, I'd pay for that package.
post #4 of 33
Ah, I looked at their website, and now I get it. This is NOT just an email client app. They have THEIR servers check YOUR email, and then forward that email on to you.

The reservation is not to get the app, it's to get a space on their servers. And in order for this to work, they will need the ability to access your gmail account. Which means they will need your login credentials. Yeah, no thanks.
post #5 of 33
Originally Posted by Brian Jojade View Post
They have THEIR servers check YOUR email…

 

There goes any interest I might have ever had in it.

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post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Jojade View Post

Ah, I looked at their website, and now I get it. This is NOT just an email client app. They have THEIR servers check YOUR email, and then forward that email on to you.

The reservation is not to get the app, it's to get a space on their servers. And in order for this to work, they will need the ability to access your gmail account. Which means they will need your login credentials. Yeah, no thanks.

Yep. I just did exactly the same thing.

They're probably trying to get a bead on what they need for initial server build-out etc.

 

Still... Looks interesting. I'll check-in on it in a few months or so.

post #7 of 33

Another developer want to cash in. It seems the current trend is to develop an app with attractive UI then hype it. Next, wait for Google, Apple, MS, or others to buy your new creation. Repeat.

post #8 of 33
I'm sure they can collecting all kinds of from emails as Brian said. http://taskbox.co already has these features an as been out for months.
Edited by megajustice - 1/23/13 at 7:53am
post #9 of 33

You lost me at Gmail only. 

post #10 of 33
Reservation system is to active the app after download. You can download as soon as it is available, but it will not work until you receive your turn. when your number is active you need to use the "Private Code" given to active the app.

This helps the developer to plan how many should be activated in first week, first month etc. (kind of get estimate on the expected load to avoid crashes)
post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Jojade View Post

Ah, I looked at their website, and now I get it. This is NOT just an email client app. They have THEIR servers check YOUR email, and then forward that email on to you.

The reservation is not to get the app, it's to get a space on their servers. And in order for this to work, they will need the ability to access your gmail account. Which means they will need your login credentials. Yeah, no thanks.

 

Wow.

 

Guess I won't be needing my reservation, after all.  Thanks for pointing that out.  I was pretty excited about this at first, very nice interface.  But I'll passsss.

post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by megajustice View Post

We will not let this app into our infrastructure due to the way it violates security protocols. They will be collecting all kinds of data from thier servers as Brian said. Big warning. Here is the kicker, rumor is that this is gonna cost $14.99 - you bet folks, nothing is free and there is an upsell - for an email client. No thanks. #FAIL

 

 

To me the app looked cool. I just don't get the Gmail only support. With that said, I don't see why a person would not care about Google handling his or her email, but somehow be bothered by this company handling his or her email. Google is the king of using your data for its purpose. Further, it has been hacked a bunch of times (trust me I know I have experienced two hacked accounts). In addition, the company's website says it's goal is to offer the program free initially and always have a free version, but will offer premium services (e.g. Drop box style). 

post #13 of 33
Where on mailboxapp.com does it state their intention is to have mail go through Mailbox's servers? It's not clear to me that's what happens at all. Link?
post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Citing an expected high interest in its intuitive free email client, Mailbox on Tuesday opened up entries for a reservation system that...

How about putting a comma after "Mailbox" in that sentence? It reads like the client is called "Mailbox on Tuesday". Mikey.

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post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Jojade View Post

And in order for this to work, they will need the ability to access your gmail account. Which means they will need your login credentials. Yeah, no thanks.

 

And being Gmail only, it means that two companies will have access to all your email.  Double no thanks.

 
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post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielGenser View Post

Where on mailboxapp.com does it state their intention is to have mail go through Mailbox's servers? It's not clear to me that's what happens at all. Link?

 

 

You can just click on the companies website link provided in the article. There it says, "

 

WHY A RESERVATION SYSTEM?

  • Mailbox checks email from the cloud in order to deliver it as fast as possible to the phone, support push notifications, and facilitate email snoozing. The IMAP protocol is nearly 30 years old and a part of reinventing the inbox is building a secure, modern API that's better suited for mobile devices.

    In order to provide a robust, world-class email experience, we will be filling reservations on a first-come, first-served basis. We are working as hard as we can to get Mailbox into everyone's hands quickly."

I assume this is what people are interrupting to mean the mail will go through the companies servers. It is the only thing that would explain the need for a reservation system. The company could also be trying to control how many people get the program to address bugs quickly in a way that doesn't kill early adoption. 

post #17 of 33
I tried to reserve my spot, but leaving my (i)Phone number mandatorily is something I simply don't do.
post #18 of 33
Lost me at requiring SMS to deliver reservation number.
SMS?
It's iOS... Use my Messages stream. I don't pay AT&T $29/mo for goddamn texting.
post #19 of 33
"I don't pay AT&T $29/mo for goddamn texting."

Bloody hell, prices are going through the roof, nee, cloud with AT&T. I sure hope they're not going to buy my local KPN!
post #20 of 33

Pass.

post #21 of 33

Thanks - I think I looked everywhere on the website *except* for the Why Reservations area. Interesting approach, for sure.

post #22 of 33

Warning !!!

I saw  a FB web site reference when this was loading.

 

Regardless, being free it has to be a spyware app.  Using Gmail makes it double spyware.

 

I wouldn't install it for any amount of gifts!

1oyvey.gif

post #23 of 33
If that's true them as the intermediary then I'll pass. Don't want to add another bodies reading my emails. Enough with Google ads, Google-sponsored spam and FBI etc. already. I received e-mails and I read it. No need to make it a to do list. Life is short to delay things.
post #24 of 33

I agree and am also intrigued. Not only will this help them get a feel for the demand, but it's also a nice way to market their product.
 

post #25 of 33

Hi I am wondering how this app works if it is a good app to give my phone number to does it work aol or does it just work for Gmail? 1smile.gif

post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

There goes any interest I might have ever had in it.

 

Mine too. Sounded halfway decent until that little revelation. For those who are otherwise interested, but don't want to give their phone number, will it work with a Google Voice number?
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post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

Another developer want to cash in. It seems the current trend is to develop an app with attractive UI then hype it. Next, wait for Google, Apple, MS, or others to buy your new creation. Repeat.

I wouldn't be surprised if Apple & Google both take interest in this one, Microsoft is probably totally unaware of any such service.  This would make a very nice addition to both iPhone & OS X but it would only be useful to me if it supported my corporate exchange service & was somehow integrated with VIP (also icloud too).  It's a nifty idea but not one I will be waiting in line for, I already have a good enough system for getting through my hundreds of e-mails a day so I'm not about to spend money or take a gamble on something that only supports an e-mail service I don't use.  

post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshA View Post
Regardless, being free it has to be a spyware app.  Using Gmail makes it double spyware.

Yes, I'm sure a company is going to illegally trawl through millions of emails just to get to that incredibly sensitive and important piece of information that you send through a Gmail account. WTF are you gonna send through any email server that is THAT important or sensitive?

 

Despite what you might think, companies aren't that interested in the content of the emails that you send and receive.

post #29 of 33
1. So it needs to access my mail to make my life easier, sounds fine. It's not like I email people my bank accounts or send them pictures of my private parts.
2. It says it does everything through the cloud, so it won't be taking too much space on my phone. That means that while I wait for further support of other mail services I'm okay with gmail only.
3. I gave them my phone number. After I paid so much for the actual iphone, a few more cents in charges for those TWO text messages won't hurt.

So I will NOT pass, as long as they don't end up asking me to pay $15 for the service.

You guys need to be a little more flexible with the security paranoia if you want companies to make your lives easier.
What? All of a sudden you trust big corporations like Apple over small startups that try to make a living by coming up with great ideas to make your day a little more convenient? How do you know there isn't an Apple employee going through your emails right now as we speak?
post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evilution View Post

 

Despite what you might think, companies aren't that interested in the content of the emails that you send and receive.

 

It's amazing that there are still people as naive (or perhaps you're purposely trying to mislead?) as you appear to be.

 

Companies like Google, Facebook and a whole bunch of their ilk are exactly and specifically interested in the content of every single email you send and receive.  That is their business.  Their entire freakin' business model is based on not only knowing the content of all of your emails (and searches, etc.), but abstracting that content in very clever ways so it can be sliced and diced for efficient monetization.  Every Single Word you type into gmail is carefully analyzed and stored forever, regardless of whether or not you delete it. That's enough to keep me from ever touching gmail.

No Matte == No Sale :-(
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post #31 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziadjk View Post

3. I gave them my phone number. After I paid so much for the actual iphone, a few more cents in charges for those TWO text messages won't hurt.

So I will NOT pass, as long as they don't end up asking me to pay $15 for the service.

You guys need to be a little more flexible with the security paranoia if you want companies to make your lives easier.
What? All of a sudden you trust big corporations like Apple over small startups that try to make a living by coming up with great ideas to make your day a little more convenient? How do you know there isn't an Apple employee going through your emails right now as we speak?

 

re 3: Do you honestly think people aren't signing up because they don't want to pay a few more cents for 2 text messages?  Wow, you're either incredibly cheap or you think other people are.  The truth is, people are not going to give this upstart company their phone number because they don't want them to have their phone number, duh!  

 

Seriously, this product looks like it has some great features, and I guess I'm not half as cheap as you are, because if they charged $15 for the app I'd pay for it in a heartbeat, as long as I could use it with my existing self-hosted email, and nothing flows through their servers.  Gmail is just a thinly veiled spyware service already, I'm certainly not going to let another relatively unknown company sift through all my email too.

 

"Security paranoia", as you call it, is better known as "common sense" in many circles.  "Making your lives easier" sounds great in a brochure, but sucking down all my personal communication FOR NO GOOD REASON is unacceptable.  Every function that I read about here could be done easily without any intermediate server.  If I had some extra time I'd be tempted to build a copycat app to do just that.

 

I'm glad to see that most of the folks posting here are paying attention to what's behind the curtain.


Edited by Blah64 - 1/29/13 at 1:45am
No Matte == No Sale :-(
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post #32 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

Wow, you're either incredibly cheap or you think other people are.

Doesn't take a genius to see the sarcasm in my comment about the text messages.

Actually, to some, $15 seems too much for a mail sorting app. You must be wealthy.

Until I get my identity stolen by google or what ever, I'm still going to think of it as paranoia. What can they do with my oh, so valuable emails? Send me deals that are tailored for me? Oh the crime!

Just my opinion.

By the way, if you disagree with me I will be courteous and read what you have to say, then respond, or not. You don't need to call me cheap or what not. Doesn't hurt anyway.
post #33 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

Wow, you're either incredibly cheap or you think other people are.

Doesn't take a genius to see the sarcasm in my comment about the text messages.

By the way, if you disagree with me I will be courteous and read what you have to say, then respond, or not. You don't need to call me cheap or what not. Doesn't hurt anyway.

 

I find it ironic, in a funny way, to compare my snide response with your snide response about snide responses.  Heh.

 

Frankly, I wasn't reading it as sarcasm or anything in particular, I just responded quickly, with the main point being that there are very different attitudes these days about giving out phone numbers.  Look how many other people in this thread (that aren't necessarily privacy advocates, as I am), said "no way".  That heartens me.  Given that for many people, a phone number is immediately identifiable with you as an individual and not trivially changed, giving it willy-nilly to any random startup seems crazy, to me.

 


Until I get my identity stolen by google or what ever, I'm still going to think of it as paranoia. What can they do with my oh, so valuable emails? Send me deals that are tailored for me? Oh the crime!
 

 

That's like saying: until I get a cavity, I'm not going to bother to brush my teeth.  Or better, until I get shot in a shopping mall, I think laws about gun-free zones are paranoia.  Holy crap, use some judgement and look at trajectories of where things are headed, not what you've experienced in your own very limited life.

 

You think your emails are not valuable.  Google thinks otherwise.  Who do you think is right?  I guarantee they are.  

 

I started typing out a bunch of examples, but I'm going to save them for another post, another time.  I feel like it would be wasted effort here/now.

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