Once making headlines for its $100M purchase only one month after launching, the gesture-friendly, inbox zero targeted Mailbox app is shutting down. The innovate email app was famously purchased by Dropbox in March 2013, only to announce that it’d be discontinuing the service on February 26, 2016.
If you’re a convert like me, the demise of Mailbox is nothing if not a pain in the ass– there’s nothing more tedious than trying to find an alternative to something you thought was working perfectly fine. But so goes the volatile world of email apps, often slow on the uptake in favor of stock iPhone or Android mail apps. Bad news aside, however, the good news is that what was innovative for Mailbox three years ago is now a staple in many of the best alternative email apps for sending, organizing, and clearing out your inbox.
Whether for business or for pleasure, these alternatives to mailbox will help you stay on top of your emails without missing out on what’s important.
Microsoft’s classic desktop email service has a surprisingly solid app for iOS and Android. Clean and simple, the Outlook app– like Mailbox before it– lets you swipe to archive, delete, and schedule emails. The perks come with things like a smart, focused inbox that shows important messages first, integrated calendars and scheduling, and probably most conveniently, the ability to access and attach files from Dropbox, OneDrive, and Box, straight from the app. This includes Word, Excel, and Office documents.
The calendar also accepts invites from the Calendar tab without having to accept it from the email itself, making Outlook a handy option for anyone with little time on their hands.
Both aesthetically and functionally familiar, Boxer for iOS and Android provides a very similar email management experience to Mailbox, with custom swipe gestures to archive, delete, or label mails. It’s got a nice interface with large image icons to quickly recognize who’s sent the email, and simple navigation to access additional features which include an integrated calendar and task-list. Bonus: it also integrates with Evernote.
The biggest downside of Boxer is the price tag that comes along with features like the ability to manage multiple accounts, quick templates, and PIN protected app access. Still, if you’re only looking to manage one account, the lite (ie. free) version of the app is a good option.
If you are looking to manage more than one account and are already using Google’s email service, the Gmail app for iOS and Android is an obvious choice. More utilitarian than full of bells and whistles, the Gmail app basically mimics the Gmail experience from desktop onto a mobile device. The app’s familiar interface lets you manage up to 5 accounts at once, and is complete with its token tabbed folders, which are accessible from the sidebar. Starring, labelling, and archiving emails is much the same on mobile as it would be on desktop, which makes using the app quite intuitive.
The big benefit of using the Gmail app is being able to respond to and sync immediately with your Google calendar from within the app.
The app that had people begging friends for access just two years ago now has a legion of devoted followers. Taking things one step further, Google’s other email app for iOS and Android (yes, it has two) called Inbox steps up the Gmail game with a few more fancy features. Benefiting from Gmail integration, the app works off of bundled, labelled, and categorized mails, grouping similar emails together and letting you delete multiple emails with just one swipe.
You can also snooze emails that’ll disappear until you’re ready to deal with them, or instead just set reminders. The smart search function also makes it easier to find contextualized emails instead of digging through your entire inbox.
Although it’s colorful and icon-heavy interface is visually appealing, it may not be ideal for those looking for a more minimalist, clean approach to managing email.
Another search engine-provided email app, Yahoo Mail isn’t limited to those using Yahoo services for email, also being available for Gmail, Outlook and AOL. An app for both iOS and Android with a simplistic interface, Yahoo Mail includes all of the token features already mentioned here: swipe actions, batch delete, and tabs (‘smart views’) that lets you easily categorize and sort through emails.
The novel features of Yahoo mail are notifications from Yahoo News and Magazines that keep you up to date on the latest breaking news from within the app itself.
For the workaholic who just can’t put away their phone, having an email app that integrates with Salesforce could be just the ticket. Connecting with Gmail or Outlook, SalesforceIQ Inbox for iOS and Android lets you quickly identify leads, create opportunities, and seamlessly log information in Salesforce straight through your email, eliminating the hassle of having to input information twice.
Even better, you have options that let you track email opens, send them at a specific time, or give you follow-up reminders if you haven’t heard a response. The only obvious downside is that if you’re not using Salesforce, you won’t benefit much from this app.
Another business-friendly email service, Zoho Mail is perfect for those already using the popular suite of Zoho products in the workplace (and even those who aren’t). Zoho Mail, available on both iOS and Android, offers the staple swipe-to-organize email functions, integrated calendars, and the option to call contacts directly from the app, as well as additional options to search for attachments and view them offline.
For those that get too distracted by their email, one of its coolest features includes custom push notifications from specific contacts only, letting you essentially screen your emails for importance even before getting notified.
Plenty of fish in the sea
Mailbox was a novelty when it was first released, but it’s clear that many of the best email apps out there have borrowed features from the once hugely popular app and integrated them quite nicely. As another email app bites the dust, let’s hope this group sticks around long enough for you to benefit from their features.
What’s your favorite alternative to Mailbox? Share in the comments below!