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Mailbox for iPhone belongs in your dock

Lex Friedman | Feb. 8, 2013
Mailbox, the free iPhone app that makes managing your email a delight, is now available in the App Store. With any luck, you already made a reservation to gain access to the app, which the developers are rolling out slowly to avoid overloading their servers.

Mailbox, the free iPhone app that makes managing your email a delight, is now available in the App Store. With any luck, you already made a reservation to gain access to the app, which the developers are rolling out slowly to avoid overloading their servers.

If you didn't already reserve a spot in line for access, go download Mailbox now; you can get on the list from right within the app.

Right now, Mailbox works exclusively with Gmail accounts, though the developers say support for other IMAP accounts will come. Once you've connected one or more Gmail accounts to the app, you can start managing your email in a new and enjoyable way.

A better inbox

Like Mail, Mailbox offers an optional unified view of your inboxes, though you can choose to dive into individual accounts instead, if that's your preference. What sets Mailbox apart is its approach to managing the contents of your inbox.

As you navigate your inbox, you can unsurprisingly tap on a message to view it. But if, even before you open a message, you can see that it's one you no longer need, you can file it away without ever leaving your list of messages. Swipe right on a message and it will turn green to show you're archiving it. Pull a little further, and it turns red, to show you're deleting the message instead.

You can, of course, perform those same actions from the message screen as well: Tap the checkmark to archive a message, or the X to delete it. It's all intuitive, easy to master, and honestly kind of fun.

You snooze, you win

But the easy archiving and deleting just scratch the surface of what Mailbox offers. Swipe left on a message--or tap the clock icon in message view--and you can essentially press the snooze button on it. You get a grid of options for choosing when you'd like that message to reappear atop your inbox: later today, this evening, tomorrow, this weekend, next week, in a month, or "someday." You define that last one in the app's settings in terms of months, with the default option being to remind you in one month. There's also a date selector, where you can choose the exact date and time the message should pop back up.

Because of the app's collection of settings, you actually get pretty fine-grained control over all the preset snooze durations, too: You specify what qualifies as mornings on weekdays and weekends, and you define the "later today" interval, too.

 

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