So after a lengthy wait I finally have full functionality on my iPhone for the new Mailbox application that supposedly replaces the native iPhone mail app and beats the Gmail E-mail app hands down.
The Features that are Awesome
The entire purpose of this app is to help you manage your onslaught of e-mail. In particular, I’ve found it fabulous for handling the problem of timing. When I get an e-mail that’s important, but doesn’t need a response or action until a specific time, Mailbox allows me to schedule a future time to be notified of that message again.
When you’re looking at messages in your in-box on your phone, a simple half-swipe to the right will archive the message. A full swipe to the right will delete it. A half-swipe to the left will allow you to schedule a future notification, and a full swipe to the left will prompt you to add it to a Mailbox list.
The Features that are NOT Awesome
- Mailbox creates a new “folder” structure in gmail utilizing the label feature. You’ll immediately notice a label called [mailbox] in your list of labels. If you organize your mail into lists by labeling them, then you’ll be “sub-labeling” or nesting your labels under the [mailbox] label, which means any labels you already have in Gmail will need to be moved, as Mailbox doesn’t access the labels you already have.
- If you were using your iPhone mail app to read mail, and you have notifications ON, you’ll want to turn them off, and allow Mailbox to take over. The problem I have with this is that I can no longer have a custom sound on my e-mails and the phone defaults back to the annoying “bong” sound that has always been difficult for me to hear when there’s other background noise or when I’m driving.
- In the gmail search field, if you begin typing a label name for a label that you already had, you may see anticipated results, such as label:<something> as you type. Since Mailbox puts a top level label of [mailbox] in gmail and nests the rest of your labels under that, you can no longer search for mail by the first few letters of a given label. If you type the left bracket “[” into the search field, you’ll see results for [mailbox]:/<whatever>, but that’s cumbersome and not efficient.
- On the iPhone, when you swipe a message into a list, the names in the list are not alphabetized. They must be manually sorted in the Mailbox app settings.
Aside from those few hiccups, the app is extremely useful. I just hope they can work through some of this stuff.