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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 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.
  • Reply 2 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.
  • Reply 3 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.
  • Reply 4 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.

  • Reply 5 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.

  • Reply 6 of 33
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,158member


    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.

  • Reply 7 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.
  • Reply 8 of 33
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member


    You lost me at Gmail only. 

  • Reply 9 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)
  • Reply 10 of 33
    allenbfallenbf Posts: 993member

    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.

  • Reply 11 of 33
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    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). 

  • Reply 12 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?
  • Reply 13 of 33
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 33
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,015member

    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.

  • Reply 15 of 33
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    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. 

  • Reply 16 of 33
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,458member
    I tried to reserve my spot, but leaving my (i)Phone number mandatorily is something I simply don't do.
  • Reply 17 of 33
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 33
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,458member
    "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!
  • Reply 19 of 33


    Pass.

  • Reply 20 of 33


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

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