We’ve been waiting for someone to make a great iOS Gmail app ever since the Sparrow team was bought by Google this year. Sparrow is still great, and the Gmail app has gotten better, but the experience of using email on a smartphone still feels unnatural and archaic.
A few apps have tried and failed to change mobile email, but app development company Orchestra thinks they have the right answer with their new app Mailbox. Blending an email inbox with a Clear-styled to-do list, Mailbox provides a modernized take on mobile email that is simply beautiful.
Here’s what the app looks like in action:
While talking to The Verge, Orchestra CEO Gentry Underwood said,
“Most everyone uses email on their phones, and most everyone hates it. We feel like that’s a big opportunity to make a small improvement in a lot of people’s lives. Email was designed 30 years ago for computers chained to desks. Everything about it is slow and clunky. If you want to make it fast and mobile-friendly, the entire experience needs to be modernized.”
Instead of using buttons to delete, archive, or save drafts for later, Mailbox uses simple swipes and colors to provide the bulk of the UI. Users can swipe a message to the right to archive, swipe to left to save for later, swipe to the right and hold to delete, and swipe to the left and hold let’s you move the email in your list.
After testing the app for a few weeks, Ellis Hamburger at The Verge claims that Mailbox is as fast or faster than Apple’s default Mail app at downloading and sending messages, but it’s UI is better than anything on the market. Orchestra’s background is in developing cloud-based to do apps, so they’ve transferred a lot of their cloud-optimization knowledge over to Mailbox.
Orchestra hasn’t announced a price for Mailbox just yet, but they say it will hit the App Store next year. For a full run down on all of the goodies, head over to The Verge and read their hands-on.