Mailbox: Is it a Case of ‘If it Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix it?’
So Apple has decided to replace the faithful Orchestra with an entirely new creature altogether. As far as mobile email access goes, it's not always as smooth as one would hope, and the new partnership between Steve's legacy and Dropbox aims to smooth over the cracks of past operators.
The question is have they succeeded and just how user friendly is Mailbox? Well, see, we all know of the Android versus iOS division, and Mailbox yet again polarizes us into two distinct camps — unless you count BlackBerry.
Let's start with what we like about Mailbox. It works, and really well at that. Despite some initial hiccups with downtime, the general consensus is one of seamless Gmail compatibility and integration. If you're one of those people that put off dealing with emails indefinitely and subsequently end up forgetting about some, then Mailbox will change all that.
While some might prefer not having to deal with correspondence right away, an industrious approach to mailbox management is what this application affects best. While your emails will be synced to your iProduct automatically, you'll still have the option of choosing when you'd like to read your mail. With a mere swipe of the hand you'll be able to decide the fate of unsuspecting emails in mere seconds.
The coolest thing about Mailbox — besides its slick look and super-fast management — is the mail management options you're presented with. Feeling a little relaxed? Drop your mail in the "later today" folder and a reminder will have it pop up when you're feeling a little more industrious. Procrastinator of note? Then perhaps you'd be more inclined to sort out your mail "tomorrow" or "this weekend." My favorite, however, is the ever-so-specific "someday." The lucky emails to end up in the latter category are probably of the bills and accounts kind.
Quirky labeling aside, Mailbox is a great simplifier of the endless barrage of mail and does what it says: it allows efficient mail management, giving you control of your email. What it doesn't do, however, could be a deal-breaker for most.
First, and this is by far the most pressing issue, Mailbox is, for the moment, only available for Gmail users. Yes, not a single other mail provider can sync with Mailbox … yet. Another drawback you might not be too comfortable with is once you've read and responded to your mail, it isn't accessible through Mailbox again. Better hope you have a photographic memory! This application has no "save to folder" options and as an added bonus, no archiving feature either.
While Mailbox approaches email management with the precision and minimalism of a Scandinavian furniture designer, some might argue that this "zero inbox" approach limits your ability to self-manage to a certain extent. Sure, it's great to know that all your emails have been handled or that some are soon to return as performers in another day's correspondence production line, but the problem is that your emails often act as points of reference, resources even. So if you find yourself on the go without the information you need, then no amount of streamlining or simplicity will help.
Besides the apparent drawbacks, Mailbox will, undoubtedly, do exceedingly well. Millions of "iUsers" have applied for the application and if you, like so many others, enjoy having a clean, uncluttered mailbox, then this application is definitely for you. For the diehard "sync and disseminate" crowds, the score of Yahoo and AOL users, well, maybe in time.
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