Few apps have managed to generate as much hype as Mailbox, a new email client for the iPhone. The company behind Mailbox, Orchestra, first teased the app late last year. Mailbox made its triumphant debut in the App Store this past week. Our own John Brownlee gave it a glowing review and called it, “a flawless execution of a great idea that will completely change how you deal with email.” Sounds promising, no?
Most apps do private beta testing until they’re ready to be unleashed on the world. Orchestra, the app company behind Mailbox, has done things differently. You can download Mailbox in the App Store, but the vast majority of people can’t actually use it right now. There’s a reservation system in place that shows where you are in line and how many people are behind you.
There are currently over 800,000 subscribers to Mailbox, and the vast majority are still waiting to be let in. Frustrated you can’t use Mailbox right away? There’s a good reason you have to wait.
The reason Orchestra has set it up this way is to prevent demand from crushing their servers, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying (for more info on Orchestra’s rationale, see this article). When we download apps, we expect to be able to use them right away, not sit in a queue for an indeterminate amount of time.
We can’t help you get to the head of the Mailbox queue, but we can tell you roughly how long you’ll have to wait based on how fast Mailbox has let people into the app in the past. Here’s how.
This week’s must-have apps roundup kicks off with Mailbox, the best third-party mail client that’s available on iOS. If you haven’t already downloaded your copy and joined the queue, do it as soon as you can. Mailbox is accompanied by AudioBox, a new player for all of your cloud-based music; the latest game from Kairosoft, and more.
That message you meant to get back to gets buried in a pile of PR pitches, or deal mailers, or unsolicited spam, until the prospect of doing something as simple as writing back to an email from a week ago becomes as onerous a task as snorkeling in a sewage tank. In a day and age where walking away from a computer for just a few hours can result in dozens of emails piling up, all of which have different priorities, email has undergone a horrible mutagenic transformation in the minds of most users: from a supremely useful communication tool to a digital black hole where information, once trapped, inescapably leaves the universe forever.
The idea behind Orchestra’s new iOS emailing app, Mailbox, is simple. As we know, inboxes fester without constant vigilance… so why not make remaining vigilant as easy and satisfying as ticking off items on a to-do list? That’s what Mailbox is in a nut shell: an app that takes the GTD ethos and gesture-based interface of an app like Clear and applies it to your inbox.
How well does it work? So well that we’re comfortable saying that if you get any volume of email, Mailbox is worth throwing any other iOS email client in the trash.
It’s finally here! Mailbox — the incredible new e-mail client from Orchesta, that is one part Sparrow and one part Clear — has finally dropped on the iTunes App Store after months of buzz. And boy, is it worth it.
What do you get when you combine a highly anticipated iPhone app with a fascinating link to a senior executive at the most valuable company on earth? You get Mailbox and Adam Cue, a software engineer working on the hyped email app that’s going public soon. Cue works at Orchestra, the app development company behind Mailbox. You may recognize Adam’s last name because it also happens to be the last name of Eddy Cue, a longtime Apple senior executive who now oversees all of the company’s internet services, including email.
While this doesn’t mean that Apple will acquire Orchestra’s Mailbox app, it’s interesting to note the connection between the two companies.
I imagine that in a lot of totally fundamental ways, pitching a university to let you teach a new course must be a lot like pitching a tech article to a mainstream magazine. It all starts with throwing random words at a sheet of brainstorming paper, then cynically deciding that while “iPhone: the future of music composition” is clearly ridiculous, it would look good as a headline [in the course catalog], so let’s see where it gets us anyway. Quickly inducing hyperventilation in order to simulate breathless excitement, you pick up the phone, call your editor [department head] and shout: “The iPhone is the future of music! No one else has done it before, so we’ll be at the forefront, reporting [teaching] about a fantastic new era meshing technology and art!”
Yes, go forth, my son. Fortune favors the bold! Do your job right and if you’re a tech journalist, you’ll make about $800. But if you’re a university professor, like Georg Essl of the University of Michigan? You may just have taken your first step towards tenure!