So the big new app of the day, deservedly so, is Orchestra’s Mailbox. It’s an email client, currently iPhone-only and limited to Gmail accounts. It’s a well done, good-looking app with some innovative ideas. Because of those ideas, though, using Mailbox requires granting Orchestra access to your email account — the app talks to Orchestra’s server, and Orchestra’s server talks to Gmail. So, clearly, there are some trust/security implications to consider. But that’s how they can do push notifications, for example. That server-side component, however, has forced them to roll out access to the app slowly. Sign up now, you’ll get access later, as they slowly grow their user base. As of today the list is hundreds of thousands of users long.

I’m a lucky bastard and have had access to the beta for a few months. The bottom line for me is that it’s an app I greatly admire, but won’t use personally. For one thing, it’s too Gmail centric. But I can see how a lot of people will really like it, especially people who primarily use email through one main Gmail account.

Lex Friedman has an effusive review at Macworld; he’s sold on it. (I was probably never in the target audience for Mailbox — personally, I really like iOS’s built-in Mail app.)

Thursday, 7 February 2013