Dropbox recently announced the demise of the Mailbox app. I was an early adopter of this app for the iPhone, and I am sad to see it go. I don’t send a lot of email from my mobile device, but I do manage my email from it from time-to-time, and Mailbox allowed me to manage my mail with similar functionality I use with Boomerang for Gmail. It allowed me to move messages out of my inbox until a specified time, after which they would return. This kept my inbox clutter-free, and provided a nice reminder when I needed to take an action.
Dropbox decided to ax the app because,
…We realized there’s only so much an email app can do to fundamentally fix email. We’ve come to believe that the best way for us to improve people’s productivity going forward is to streamline the workflows that generate so much email in the first place.
I can understand this. Exploring improvements to an underlying (and potentially broken) process is better than enabling those broken processes through small fixes. But I grew to really like the Mailbox app and am sad to see it go.
So far as I can tell, this is only the second app I have used that has been sunsetted1, and that is pretty good considering how many apps I’ve used over the years. This kind of weeding is probably a good thing. It makes me aware that I need a backup plan for those apps and services I use most-frequently, just in case they go away as well.
I am not waiting for the February 26 deadline to transition to another app for my email. I have already started to use Google’s Inbox app for the iPhone. It is quite a bit different from both Mailbox and Boomerang, but is does appear to have the functionality I am looking for to manage my email on my phone when I have to.
In the long run, Dropbox may be right. Changing the process may be the best course. Boomerang works very well for managing my inbox from within the Gmail web client. Perhaps I shouldn’t worry about trying to manage my inbox from my mobile device and do it all when I am sitting at my computer, with Gmail open. That might be the best process change I can achieve for keeping my in shape.
- The first was Google Reader—remember that, kids? ↩