Orchestra, Inc.’s new email client, Mailbox, has taken the tech world by storm in the past week. The new iPhone app promises to change the way we approach email. It has won glowing praise. skepticism, and everything in between. Two of our InfoSpace bloggers have taken the time to break down both sides of the Mailbox debate. Read on to see what conclusions they have developed.
Anne Marie Suchanek – Skeptically In Line
It’s no secret that iPhone users love their apps. Whether it’s social networking, photography, music, or gaming, consumers appreciate and crave well-designed and efficient apps. Recently, a new app has entered the iPhone scene, and the buzz has quickly spread among users.
iPhone users are familiar with the native mail app, while others have shifted over to Sparrow or the Gmail app. However, a new player is now entering the field, any everyone has one question in mind: “what exactly is it?”
The new app, called Mailbox, has come onto the scene promising to reinvent the inbox. With high speed delivery and the ability to snooze emails for another day, Mailbox claims it’ll make it easy to achieve inbox zero. However, waiting for what seems like a perfect app may take months.
Upon downloading the app, you take a number and make a reservation to activate the app. Mailbox claims that this is to prevent server overload, although I initially thought this was a way to build up hype while still getting people to check their place in line. I’m currently at 503,000 people away from getting the app, which went down from 536,000 yesterday. I’m anticipating that I’ll finally be able to download the app months, if not weeks, from now.
However, as an impatient and eager person, I wonder if this long wait will live up to the hype. At that point, will I even care? I’m already impatient and frustrated and I haven’t even gotten the app yet. Many people are wondering what exactly they’re waiting for. Others have become so frustrated that they’ve deleted the app entirely.
My concern for Mailbox is that people will stick to what they know. Since the new app only works with Gmail accounts, people may stick to their Gmail (or Mail) app and not bother to switch over. As someone who appreciates familiarity, it can be difficult to make the switch to a new app unless it absolutely delivers. How can something deliver when it takes so long to get the app and not many people are using it? It can be difficult to become popular when people are frustrated before they even have the app.
I do know a few people who already have the app. People say that they enjoy it, but they seem to express more joy over not having to wait any longer rather than using the app. Perhaps more concise reviews of the app will surface once a larger group of people are actually able to use the app.
Mailbox, which is free, is only available for iPhones and is only allowing users to sync with their Gmail account. Sign up by downloading the Mailbox App through the App Store on your Apple device.
Billy Ceskavich – An Email Revolution is Worth The Wait
Yet, despite all of these potential drawbacks, Mailbox couled very well live up to its reputation. The incessant hype over this new email client is definitely noteworthy. Ellis Hamburger at The Verge says that the startup app just “outdid both Apple and Google” alone; Macworld has proclaimed that Mailbox “belongs in your dock”; and Cult of Mac calls Mailbox “the best email app we’ve ever used.”
That’s a lot of praise, especially for an app that very few users currently can access. It is worth noting that many of the blogs that shower praise upon Mailbox could have their own internal biases in the app’s favor. Nevertheless, such widespread acclaim should say something to users right away.
In addition, Mailbox’s innovations dig deep into our experience of mobile email. Orchestra, Inc., the startup responsible for Mailbox’s existence, performed countless hours of R&D for Mailbox. They claim to have built the most intuitive mobile email client ever. In addition, Orchestra’s original, eponymous to-do app indicates the startup’s experience in creating user-friendly apps geared around content organization.
Mailbox’s biggest improvement is also the justification for this long wait. The new app relies on its servers to parse and compress emails before sending them to the user. With most of the app’s heavy lifting done in the cloud, Mailbox promises a much faster email experience. Yet, this reliance on server performance necessitates a slow introduction to allow for scalability.
To succeed, Mailbox does not need to be perfect: the hype just needs to match the experience. Gmail’s closed beta produced hype that was fantastically successful, not because Gmail is perfect, but because it provides a far superior experience than most competitors.
Mailbox very well can do the same. The app could very well heighten our expectations for what a mobile email app can do. Furthermore, as Seth Fiegerman at Mashable points out, perfection is not necessary for success when it comes to mail. Email is the first thing many of us check on our phones. Its ubiquity in our lives means that all Mailbox needs to be is better than the best.
For now, neither of us has achieved access to Mailbox. We will soon follow up with a post once we have reached the front of the line. But for now, it’s clear: if you consider yourself a tech savvy individual or one who enjoys new products, Mailbox is an app you should consider getting in line for. And for now, while the hype builds, we’ll sit comfortably. Let the waiting game continue.
Have you gotten on line for the Mailbox app? Why would you wait for weeks, or possibly months, to gain access to an app? Share your thoughts below.