Revolutionary Free Mailbox App Comes to iPad

Since day one, the free Mailbox app has been hugely popular due to the unique email management features it introduced. With simple swipes left and right, you can quickly organize and clear your inbox. The developer announced yesterday that the app is now available in a version tailored to the larger screen of the iPad.

The app has more than 1 million users, who value Mailbox's mission of getting to "inbox zero." The company claims that 40 percent of its users get to that laudable state at least once a week.

The iPad version is similar to the one for the iPhone, but takes advantage of the larger screen by offering a bigger box for composing emails and by using a menu drawer that opens beside your inbox rather than replacing it.

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

When the Mailbox app was first posted in the App Store, you had to put yourself on a waiting list while they gradually rolled out the service. A month ago, however, they opened it up to everyone. In March, Dropbox acquired Mailbox. The app currently only works with Gmail, but they say other versions will be coming soon.

Mailbox lets you manage your email by using gestures to archive or delete messages, to "snooze" them so you can view them later, or to put them in a folder, which Mailbox terms a "list." You can make a short swipe to the right to archive a message. The message turns green, letting you know it will be archived. If you make a longer swipe to the right, the message turns red, indicating it will be deleted. Swiping to the left lets you snooze the message or move it to a list. A short swipe to the left turns the message green and presents a range of default snooze options: later today, this evening, tomorrow, this weekend, next week, in a month, or someday.

You can define "someday" as a period of months. You also can precisely define the other intervals as well. You can stipulate, for example, that "later today" means in three hours. The grid of options that pops up also includes a button you can tap to specify a particular date and time. Making a long swipe left moves the message to a list you've created. Tapping and holding messages lets you move them up or down in your inbox.

There are many more great features. Note that you aren't limited to using gestures; you also can initiate these actions after opening a message simply by tapping icons. The app has a number of viewing options, including threaded conversations and a view that shows all of Mailbox's features in a list.


Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.

Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.