Mailbox Beta for Mac OSX

MailboxBeta I always have a bit of a soft spot for new software and apps. I love trying out new apps, especially at beta stage when they’re all new and shinny and slightly broken! I’m also always on the hunt to find an app that makes email less painful. At kc web design Kent we use Postbox for our email – it’s full of features, works great with multiple accounts and is easy to use but, it still looks like a traditional email client.

Email needs to change

Email has been around for a long time and in that time it hasn’t really changed much. You get an email, deal with it or delete it or file it. For most of us this has been enough but we get so many emails these days it’s become harder to manage and we seem to be constantly replying to and reading emails every few minutes. A few apps have come along to try and change the way we deal with email and Mailbox for iOS was one of the more successful ones. The iOS app is lovely and the way it works on the iPhone with the swipes is very nice. Earlier this year Mailbox said it was working on a Mac desktop version and a few weeks ago I got sent a beta coin (check out the very cool way you have to drag and drop the coin on to the can to start the beta app!).

Mailbox on the Mac looks as lovely as it does on iOS, it’s very minimal with nothing getting in the way of reading and archiving emails. It doesn’t seem to deal with multiple accounts very well at this stage but hopefully that will be resolved and it only works with iCloud or Gmail accounts. The interface is very simple and clear and the way it deals with emails is the same as the iOS version with options to  archive emails to a date or a list. These options also work with mouse or trackpad gestures so a simple swipe left or right on a magic mouse will evoke the archive menus which is a very quick and satisfying way to quickly deal with emails.

All in all I really like the feel of Mailbox. I have lots of email accounts so I need a good way to manage all of those from one place so we’ll have to see how the Mailbox team improve that side of the app. I think the big thing for me is that the app still feels like just a way to archive emails into different folders which is something I do in Postbox anyway. Admittedly Mailbox does do this very, very well though. I still think there’s a better way to deal with emails, something that treats them more like conversations or groups of conversations and not just single messages to be moved around. Maybe there’s another email app out there….

Paul Ledbrook

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