Disappointing news for people who are using Mailbox and/or Carousel. Dropbox has announced that they will be shutting down both products.
Dropbox posted that they acquired Mailbox in 2013 because they believed in the way the product was making mobile email better. Dropbox launched Carousel as a new way to experience and share photos. The overall goal seems to be to extend the simplicity of Dropbox to other parts of user’s lives. It is that focus in simplification that has led to the decision to shut down Mailbox and Carousel.
The Mailbox Blog states that when Mailbox joined the Dropbox team, it was intended to be the means to an end to solving the email problem. Dropbox has since realized “there’s only so much an email app can do to fundamentally fix email”. They now believe that the best way to improve people’s productivity is “to streamline the workflows that generate so much email in the first place.” Details about how Dropbox will be winding down Mailbox can be found on a Mailbox FAQ.
The Carousel blog notes that “over the past year and a half, we’ve learned that the vast majority of our users prefer the convenience and simplicity of interacting with their photos directly inside of Dropbox”. It assures users that all of the photos that they have stored in their Carousel timeline will remain safe in their Dropbox where they always have been. They suggest you visit the Carousel Help Center for instruction about how to save photos you received through shared conversations or shared albums.
Mailbox will be shut down on February 26, 2016. Carousel will be shutdown on March 31, 2016. Dropbox will continue to communicate details directly with users of both apps in the coming days.
I wish someone would make an iOs email application that would combine both Mailbox and Dispatch. Currently I am using a combination of both. I like Mailbox because it allows me to easily sweep emails I want to look at more closely later into three boxes Read, Buy or Watch. The rests are quickly archived or deleted. I can also label an email to do later in the day, tomorrow, on the weekend, next week, in a month or a specific date. I subscribe to a lot of newsletters from websites like MacWorld, Fast Company, and TechDirt Daily and I like to quickly go through them and send the links I want to read later to Pocket . To do this in Mailbox I have to click on the link and then click share and then the email icon and then put in the Pocket email address and then re click the email icon and then hit send. The fact that I have to click the email icon twice doesn’t make sense to me and it is a constant source of irritation.
Then I saw a lot of people recommending Dispatch, so I decided to take a look at it. Unfortunately I immediately ran into a problem, Dispatch doesn’t have labels or tags or folders, so when I first go through the email I can not organize my email into the various categories. My only option without opening the individual is to either leave it in the in box , delete or archive. I like to have the ability to label or tag them for later processing. However when you pull up an individual email, then the power of Dispatch comes through. You can quickly send the email to your favorite Getting Things Done GTD application like Omnifocus, or Things. You can also send an email to Evernote, Draft, or Create a Reminder, If you click on a link in an email you are then given the option of adding it to the Safari Reading List, opening the link in a browser, copying the link or sending it to your favorite read later application including Pocket and Instapaper. If it is an event link you can create a Calendar Event or a Reminder. If there is a phone number you can make a call, pull up Skype or FaceTime directly from the application.
As you can tell I really like Dispatch, but I miss the ability to use folders, tags or labels that Mailbox offers me. So I end up doing my initial process in Mailbox and once I am finished the initial processing I then move all the emails I haven’t archived back into the inbox. When I am ready to process those emails I open up Dispatch and go through the individual emails and send the links to what ever application makes sense: news links go to Pocket, receipts or things I’ve cancelled to Evernote, things I want or need to do in the future go to Omnifocus and those items that are due today go into the Reminder’s application. If I had to choose between Mailbox and Dispatch, I think I would choose Dispatch I really like how it is integrated with other applications, still though I would miss the folders in Mailbox.