If you’re one of the 700,000+ iPhone users waiting to get into Mailbox, then you may be waiting for awhile. The third-party Gmail client underwent a massive outage today that lasted for more than 10 hours. Service has started to come back for the app’s existing user base gradually, but it could take a little while longer for everyone to regain access.
In case you haven’t heard yet, Mailbox is an incredibly high-profile app from a company called Orchestra that made its debut in the App Store last week. The app offers some pretty innovative and slick ways to handle email on the iPhone, and it has gained a lot of interest in recent months. Even more attention has been garnered from the app’s controversial reservation system.
Since the app works with Gmail, one would assume that Gmail itself would have to go down to take Mailbox down with it. That’s not necessarily the case. The reason for the reservation system is that Orchestra is trying to stagger the amount of strain it puts on its own severs. Mailbox delivers push notifications really quickly because of Orchestra’s cloud-based power. One of the app’s main features is speed, so it does a little bit of its own processing work in the background.
Unfortunately, gradually letting users into Mailbox hasn’t kept Orchestra’s servers from taking a beating today. “We’re currently seeing intermittent issues with our servers syncing mail,” said Orchestra in a blog post earlier today. “We’ve paused filling reservations so that we can focus on a fix.”
The error that a lot of people have been seeing is, “Having trouble connecting, please try again soon.” Service has apparently started coming back for users who already have access to Mailbox. The app’s Twitter account has been helping explain the issue to disgruntled users.
Now it’s important to remember that Mailbox is still in its infant stages, but today’s outage reveals the dark side of putting your faith in young cloud services.