Managing Mail Just Got Easier with the Mailbox App

Total Score:  28.5

I have to admit that I wasn’t searching for a new mailbox and was satisfied with the functionality of the one supplied by Apple.  I know there are a lot of better mailboxes out there, but I need one that combines my Google, Yahoo and POP accounts.  Why would I switch to one that only handled my Google account.  Well, the functionality of the Orchestra, Inc. iPad and iPhone Mailbox looked to be significantly improved and it promises to add other options.  With that promise, I downloaded the app and fell in love.

Price Rating = 5      This app is free.  I truly don’t know how a revenue model works for apps.  I suppose, because this was created by Orchestra, it introduces you to their other products.  Which I am going to re-examine.

Ease of Use Rating = 5      It is easy to use and offers options I’ve not seen before.

 Readability Rating = 5     The font size is good on both the iPhone and iPad.

 Will You Use It Rating = 5     For me, checking my mail is in the top three of critical uses for my devices.

 Downsides Rating  = 0     Other than it’s just for Gmail, none.  It is odd that it only works in landscape on the iPad, but I didn’t take any points off for it.

  Consumer Review Rating = 4.5     There have been more than 31,000 reviews of the product.  The iPad version came out in late May and is not rated as high at the moment.

Why Do You Need This App Rating = 4    The apple standard mailbox is functional and removes the “need” for this app.  Having said that, I like the flexibility and functionality of this app and will completely switch to it when I have the option to add my other accounts.

How does it work? 

  1. The first thing you will need to do is tap on the SETTINGS function (on the left on the iPad and revealed through the tab at the top left of the iPhone or iTouch).  You follow the normal procedure of adding an account.  You add your Google email address and password, it verifies it.   You can also do the following in the settings area:
    1. Change the way the signature reads.
    2. Create lists to sort your email (buy, read, watch are standard).  You can add, delete or rearrange these lists.
    3. Set your snooze preferences.
    4. Set your sync preferences.
    5. Set your notification preferences.
    6. Set your badge count preferences.
  2. When you add your email to this app, your Google mailbox items are automatically moved over.  You can see them by tapping on the CHECK MARK icon a the top of the screen (or list icon for iPhone or iTouch).
  3. The CLOCK (or LATER) icon shows you the items you have snoozed.
  4. The MAILBOX icon shows you the new items.
    1. You right swipe to archive email.  As you do, you see a green check mark.
    2. A long right swipe moves it to trash.  This sounds like it would be a lot like a regular right swipe, but it is easy to tell the difference.
    3. A left swipe allows you to snooze your mail.  When you do that it pops up some choices – later today, this evening, tomorrow, the weekend, next week, in a month, Someday or a pick a date.  These messages are moved to the LATER (or Clock Icon) spot.
    4. A long swipe to the left brings up the LISTS option.
    5. The Badge Icon (on the iPad) indicates the total number of conversations.  You can turn this on or off.
  5. To send an email, you tap the MESSAGE icon at the top right.  A box pops up and asks you one time if it can access your contacts.  It works pretty much like other email accounts and has an icon at the bottom to add a photo to your email.
  6. There are other options you can see on the left side of the screen:
    1. Tapping TRASH allows you to see what items you have moved to Trash.
    2. As with all mailbox apps, the SENT option allows you to see the mail you have sent.
    3. Tapping LISTS opens up the mail you have sorted by preference.  You can use the lists that are already set up or you can create them on the fly.
    4. There is a help button which has a tutorial, support, tips and tricks, options to interact with Mail in the social arena and terms of service.

I think this app is in the forefront of better mailboxes and I look forward to their improvements.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Devices:  This app can be used on either the iPhone (3GS, 4, 4S, 5), iPod Touch (3rd, 4th and 5th generation) or iPad.  This app has been optimized for the iPhone 5.   It requires iOS 6.0 or later.  It was developed by Orchestra, Inc.

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