Orchestra unveils Mailbox, a fresh take on iOS email

By , Dec 13, 2012

Since word got out that Google purchased Sparrow, folks have been clamoring for a new third-party email client for iOS. Sparrow is still available in the App Store, but the team has said that because of the acquisition, it will not be receiving anymore updates.

Enter Mailbox, a next-generation email client that looks like a cross between Sparrow and Clear. The app was unveiled by Orchestra, the company behind the cloud-based to-do app, today and it has a lot of people talking. Keep reading for a video preview…

The scoop comes from The Verge’s Ellis Hamburger, who has been testing a beta version of Mailbox for the past couple of weeks. And he says “it’s nothing short of spectacular… a beautifully designed messaging client meshed with a swipe-able productivity app.”

But don’t let its good looks fool you, Mailbox is a full-featured Gmail client. It has support for labels, filters, and yes, even push notifications for new incoming messages. The key here is that almost all of the app’s functions can be performed by swipe gestures.

The Verge has more on Mailbox’s fresh new UI from Orchestra’s CEO Gentry Underwood:

“Most everyone uses email on their phones, and most everyone hates it. We feel like that’s a big opportunity to make a small improvement in a lot of people’s lives. Email was designed 30 years ago for computers chained to desks. Everything about it is slow and clunky. If you want to make it fast and mobile-friendly, the entire experience needs to be modernized.”

I have to say, the app looks great. And I really like the swipe-based UI. I can’t wait to try it out. Unfortunately, it looks like it’s going to be a while. Orchestra hasn’t mentioned any kind of pricing, and it hasn’t named a release date beyond ‘early next year.’

What do you think of Mailbox?

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  • http://twitter.com/LidaHasbrouck Lida Hasbrouck

    Looks awesome. It’s about time for a more innovative mail app.

  • hack_nug

    I’m in love ♥

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mohammed-Jameel/100003062583702 Mohammed Jameel

    iPhone 5 at first and boom magically changed to iPhone 4 in the end xD

    • Falk M.

      Seems like there are some risks involved with using this app, hence why it’s still in beta and not out yet.

      What we didn’t see: She’s now rocking an iPhone 2G currently morphing into a Nokia 3310… :P

  • http://twitter.com/HiTekkSteff Stephaughn Alston

    More importantly the music was great. Anybody know the name of that song?

    • Sina

      The Be Good Tanyas – Littlest Birds
      (Thanks to SoundHound)

      • Falk M.

        Thank God someone else is using SoundHound over Shitzam. :P
        Shazam’s got all the marketing, but Soundhound’s got the pure power.
        Found it to be working much better for me back in the day, stuck with it, never got disappointed apart from when trying it on reeeeeeeally odd music.

        Background noise? Soundhound eats background noise for breakfast whilst enjoying a good convo someone’s having around you when you try to tag the song.
        SH is a beast, ’nuff said.

  • http://www.facebook.com/musicc.mann.3 Musicc Mann

    As long as it has push notification support, i’m sold. I’ve been waiting for quite a while now for a decent replacement for sparrow sans push notif.

  • CPDigitalDarkroom

    Wow, I’ve been using the gmail app because of it’s push but this will take its place as soon as it lands on the App Store, simply gorgeous.

  • http://twitter.com/nAcolz Acolz

    I can’t play the vid, but from the screen it reminds me of “Clear” and “Task” UI. I love both of these apps and use Task daily as my homework diary.

  • Justin Amberson

    Neat, but I’ll have to install boxcar again :-(

    • Falk M.

      Boxcar? They use Boxcar for push?
      Ah hell…

  • Falk M.

    Couldn’t they have launched it without giving us a video beforehand… Now even the Gmail app looks awkward to use to me…

    And what the hell is up with Apple?
    Don’t they like stand for outstanding design?

    Currently Yahoo, Google and now Orchestra are running circles around Apple’s approach.
    And dare I say the desktop client could use some refinements and overhauls, too.
    Instead they concentrate on deprecating features (RSS)… Way to go… /s -_-

    • wi77iam

      Ive stands for outstanding design. Forstall, naaaah – not so.
      Now that he’s gone – I’m pretty sure that there will be changes of some sort (better or worse – who really knows?)

      Tim Cook didn’t do the “handling all design responsibility to Ive” because he hadn’t any other guy who could do it – but because who wouldn’t trust anyone else more to change the direction to a better than Ive himself.

      So we will see what the future brings – but these changes can’t be done overnight, weeks or month. (But the impatient customer nowadays always demands immediately for results).
      I think that we’re already seeing some small changes, like the all new iTunes and such. so just be patient (or to all other whining folks out there – there’s an option -> go buy yourself an android phone and happy with it) jus’ sayin’… ;-)

      • Falk M.

        Nice, nice comment until you got this undertone.

        I agree with the Forstall/Ive thing and regular readers of my comments will know this very well:
        I’m damn happy Ive is in charge now.

        I’m actually complaining as a general outcry for better design.
        Heck, I know why all this mess occured *cough* Forstall *cough*, but I’m certainly not expecting changes overnight.
        I’m rather impressed it took so long for Forstall to get the boot kick.

      • wi77iam

        yeah, the comment was not directed at you personally (might have come across wrongly). just my observation about all the constant complaints about iOS on idownloadblog.

        But I’m totally with you that there is a lot to be done regards iOS Design. a fresher approach wouldn’t hurt. But also the interconnection across apps (never understood why you can add an address to an appointment in the calendar app, but you can’t tap it and it would then open automatically in the maps app?)
        Even small improvements like that would make iOS just more valuable in use.

        But maybe Forstall was just a real decelerator regarding such features – and maybe we will see changes to the better.
        (or maybe to the worse – I’m not saying that I’m not inclined to change myself to an android phone if it would supersede the UX of iOS one day, maybe?? – who knows)

      • Falk M.

        Fair enough then. :)

  • Dan

    looks nice

  • WaterTrooper

    I wonder how long it will take Google to buy them out?

  • iDevizes

    Does anyone know when this app will come to teh App Store? Looks really great! Also like Clear as a to-do list.

  • Joe Ace

    Lies!, no label support.