updated 12:14 am EDT, Fri March 22, 2013
New version adds 'shake to undo'; no Android version yet announced
Following on the heels of its acquisition by cloud storage provider Dropbox, the iPhone-only app Mailbox (free) has announced that it has reached the one million user mark as part of its slow rollout of the application, which organizes email using a "to-do" style approach that essentially turns email into a checklist, with a variety of options to date or put off a window when the email will be replied to or acted on. To celebrate the user milestone, the company issued a minor update to the app that adds a "shake to undo" feature.
Mailbox's approach encourages users to use the Inbox as a focus point, with incoming emails either "archived" (ie the user has done or replied to the mail and its purpose has been fulfilled) or "snooze" it to a later time of the user's choosing, at which point it will re-enter the inbox. Options for "snoozing" range from "later today" to "someday," with definitions for those terms determined by the user. Apple's email programs use a similar idea in its "VIP" designation, which pushes some emails from selected important senders to the front of the user's attention, through optional push notifications and a dedicated mailbox.
Currently the program only works with GMail, and is not yet intended as a dedicated replacement for programs such as Microsoft Outlook or Apple's Mail. For those whose primary email account is with GMail, however, the program can be used to streamline and priortize email with a different approach than has been seen previously. Mailbox is modelled on Orchestra's self-titled to-do program, which is available as a separate (also free) download.
Prior to being acquired by Dropbox, the company was concerned about being able to support a large userbase and thus has implemented a system of "reservations" that are being filled slowly. Downloading the app from the App Store at present only lets users enter the reservation system, with a "countdown" as they move closer to receiving a code to get the actual app, now at version 1.1 after today's update. The program has hit a million users just six weeks after its debut, despite being iPhone-only. While an Android version may eventually be created, no announcement about it has yet been made.