Logic inspired reviews, smart talk and advice from a "Tech" Dads point of view

Mailbox App for iOS – Initial Review

Sad face!

Mailbox settings

Mailbox App

I’ve used the much anticipated Mailbox App for a few days now with an ‘everything else’ GMAIL account. I have to say, I’m disappointed but first the positive.

The app seems to be well thought out in almost every way. It’s polished and responsive on my iPhone 4s but to use Mailbox you REALLY have to change the way you (conceptually) view email. To say the developers are attempting to move your cheese is a serious understatement … they want you to start hating ‘cheese’ altogether. With the goal of ‘Inbox Zero‘, the app seeks to whisk away all your troublesome email into GMAIL’S much misunderstood ‘ALL MAIL’ folder while ignoring your existing GMAIL labels. NO LABELS !?! Yeah, no labels. Deal with it Mr. Organized.

While I’m going to keep using the app for a week or two before deciding on it, here are the pros/cons that I see so far with the Mailbox app …


  • Slick and responsive interface
  • The “Later” folder is a good concept that ensures ( for instance ) that you get that must-do done before leaving work
  • “Lists” seem similar to labels? Why can’t we just use labels? Weird!


  • NO LABELS! For my important email accounts – this could be a deal killer. I have GMAIL skip my inbox with important email and put those gems into folders (labels). I check those folders all the time to make sure I don’t miss anything important from important people. While I think I can just redirect emails into the lists folder that Mailbox creates in my GMAIL account I still wonder why I can’t just use labels and be done with it.
  • Mailbox uses “Cloud Storage” – pre-caching your email on Mailbox servers that consume your emails and then serve them back to you in a more efficient way. While the developer says that they can’t even read your mail, it’s still a little weird to give up such control … as if you really had any? I’m going to have to to some research on this.
  • The swipe to archive and long swipe to delete is a good concept but I’ve frequently mixed them up. Maybe I just need more practice.

Give Mailbox for iOS a try ( at least get in line ) and see what you think. If your just starting out with a new GMAIL account ( fine since Mailbox only works with GMAIL for the time being) then Mailbox might be a good place to start. If you have a work/business account with 14,000+ emails, Mailbox might be too simplistic in its rational for your inbox. Still, I’m moving forward.


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