Mailbox for iPhone – Upcoming Mail Client Has Us Excited

The overall availability of iPhone mail clients hasn’t come short, in terms of numbers. With this year’s notable release of Sparrow for Gmail, the total number of mail apps, both third-party and official, can be a bit overwhelming for iPhone users. Mailbox, announced two days ago, is an application set for launch next year that aims to bring a totally revamped experience iPhone owners who are also mutual users of Gmail’s email services.

As we’ve seen in the recent past, apps that use gesture-based controls and execute a perfect, intuitive user interface have been at the face of the App Store’s lists. Clear was the first to do it, combining a simple system of swipes with a modern look, and its popularity became evident with its quick rise to the top.

Mailbox operates on a completely new approach to mobile mail solutions. Its main premise is to provide a friendly spin-off to traditional mail clients by offering a combination of to-do functionality with your inbox – the below video demonstrates a promotional glimpse of the app in action, with emails being able to be marked as completed or scheduled to be done at a user-defined time. Check it out:

The Verge posted an incredibly comprehensive account of its adventure into a beta of the app. Along with highlighting that the app is, “nothing short of spectacular,” the hands-on also noted that Mailbox’s inevitable success following its launch will be due to its uniqueness and heavy reliance of a variety of gesture-based controls.

Whereas most Mail apps rely on buttons to archive, delete, and file emails for later, Mailbox relies on a simple and colorful set of swipes. “Email was designed 30 years ago for computers chained to desks,” Underwood says. “Everything about it is slow and clunky. If you want to make it fast and mobile-friendly, the entire experience needs to be modernized.” Swiping a message to the right archives it (symbolized by a checkmark), while swiping a message to the left saves it for later (a yellow clock symbol). Swiping a message to the right and holding deletes it (symbolized by a red x), and swiping a message to the left and holding opens a List screen where you can move / label messages. In grand total, there are four ways to act on a message in your inbox, which means there’s a bit of a learning curve, but it’s worth it.

Earlier this year Sparrow launched on the iPhone for Gmail users, and it was truly great. However, the announced drop of support once Google acquired Sparrow’s parent company surely assures Mailbox a spot on iPhone users’ home screens in place of Sparrow – the support for push notifications in the latter doesn’t hurt either.