When a small app company is gobbled up, there are only a few options: the app fits well and expands the breadth of the parent company, or there is technology added to a core product and the product is eventually killed off, or the app just languishes while the new employees are tasked with other projects. Guess where Mailbox falls?
When DropBox bought Mailbox back in 2013, I honestly thought it was the first – this seemed like a great way to get people integrated with DropBox and sharing data and so on. That was during the ‘Cloud Storage Wars’, and it seemed to me a great move.
More recently, having image loading issues with Mailbox on my Mac and how awful the app is on my iPad Pro, as well as lacking updates and never resolving the Yahoo! Mail issue, I thought it had drifted into the last category.
Alas today we find out it was the middle case – DropBox is shuttering Mailbox and Carousel in early 2016.
Here is what the Mailbox folks say:
“It’s with heavy hearts that we let you know we’ll be shutting down Mailbox on February 26, 2016.”
“Mailbox ignited a shift in mobile email and many of its innovations are now ubiquitous across the industry. It’s been a great journey, and we’re proud of this impact and grateful to the community that helped make it possible.”
“When the Mailbox team joined Dropbox in 2013, we shared a passion for simplifying the way people work together. And solving the email problem seemed like a strong complement to the challenges Dropbox was already tackling.”
“But as we deepened our focus on collaboration, 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.”
“We know saying goodbye to Mailbox will be hard for many. To help make the transition to a new email client easier, we’ve created guides and export tools. For more specifics around how we’ll be winding down Mailbox, please visit the Mailbox FAQ.”
“Thank you to everyone who helped bring Mailbox to life, whether by spreading the word, letting us know what you liked (and didn’t like), or simply using the product. You taught us so much, and we’re deeply grateful.”
For me this is disappointing. GMail is my main email source, and I have always loved how Mailbox works with a universal (ish) inbox and provides full notifications. The iOS and Mac Mail apps have definitely improved – and I have started using Mail on the Mac recently and very successfully. But I have been dissatisfied with how the iOS app handles archiving and notifications.
I have yet to find another email app that meets my workflow needs the same way as Mailbox, but with today’s announcement it is time for me to force the issue and figure out what works best.
What do you think? Were you still using Mailbox? How has it worked for you – and what will you do now (or what ARE you doing now if you left it behind)?