Orchestra unveils Mailbox, a fresh take on iOS email

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?