Mailbox app helps you manage your way to a clean inbox

pdonohue@beaufortgazette.comMay 16, 2013 

When you sent and received your first email, you knew that eventually this form of electronic communication would, for better or worse, replace conventional mail in due time.

And, for the most part, that time has come.

Yes, there are still post offices, stamps and thick-legged mailmen hauling your bills and catalogs around in canvas sacks while inexplicably donning safari hats, but the email has largely overtaken the letter or even the greeting card in most situations.

It has also overtaken conventional mail in delivering our daily (and now, more like hourly) dose of junk mail.

Just as letters from Robin Leach and weekly ads for myriad pizza chains fill our physical mailboxes each week, our email inboxes, too, are quickly inundated newsletters we foolishly signed up, ads from online merchants we purchased a single item from 10 years ago and all kinds of stuff we nary have the time or interest in reading.

And, if you're anything like me, such junk is the only thing standing between you and email nirvana -- a zeroed-out, totally clean inbox.

Achieving such a task is difficult and requires vigilance to keep that ad from or the Metropolitan Museum of Art from clogging your inbox.

Or, at least it was difficult until app developer Orchestra, introduced Mailbox, a free iPhone app that lets users quickly delete, archive and sort emails with a swipe of the finger.

While I don't think it will replace the iPhone's native Mail app, Mailbox is a nice addition to your iOS device because of its ease-of-use, particularly when deleting those pesky emails I mentioned above.

Unlike Mail, which, at least with GMail accounts, requires the user to clunkily open a series of folders to find the trash instead of having a delete option on the home screen, Mailbox allows for the quick dispatch of those missives with a left-to-right swipe across the screen.

There are, admittedly, some drawbacks to using Mailbox.

The interface for writing emails in the app, for example, is nowhere near as clean and user-friendly as the Mail app and Orchestra, which was purchased in March by cloud storage giant Dropbox, has yet to develop the app for iPad or any Android devices.

Those issues aside, I suspect those of you longing to see that zero where a double-digit or, sigh, triple-digit number of unread emails used to be will find Mailbox to be a valuable tool in cleaning up and cleaning out your inbox.

Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at




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