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.
The central conceit behind Mailbox is that it treats every message in your inbox is treated like an item on a to-do list, and you get these messages out of your inbox and where they need to go just as you would in an app like Clear, swiping along them in different ways to archive the message, delete it, snooze it or file it away.
Once you get the hang of it, which takes seconds, it’s a masterful way to attain Inbox Zero and take the hair-tearing frustration out of keeping your inbox manageable. Here’s a hint to how good it is: in our review, we’re declaring Mailbox to be the best e-mail client we’ve ever used, full stop.
Unfortunately, although the app is downloadable from the App Store now, and it’s free, not everyone who downloads it right now will be able to use the service right away. Because Mailbox uses a special server that interacts with your Gmail account to achieve its functionality, Orchestra has decided to implement a reservation system to prevent their servers from being crushed. That means unless you reserved a spot in line a couple of weeks ago, you’ll likely have to wait a while before you get into Mailbox… although Mailbox will allow you to sign up for a reservation spot within the app and tell you how many people are still ahead of you.
Another bummer? Mailbox only works with Gmail, and it’s iPhone-only right now, with no native iPad version. Both of these limitations are on the to-do list, though, as I understand it.
In all seriousness, Mailbox is the best thing to happen to iPhone e-mail since Sparrow. Go grab it, and if you can’t get in right away, cool your heels and wait it out by reading our review.