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When the Mailbox app for iPhone came out a few months ago there was a lot of hoopla. The creators devised yet another attention-getting scheme: After downloading the app, a constantly updating counter told you your position in the activation queue, for example, “325,000 subscribers ahead of you”, etc. Admittedly, it did create a lot of anticipation, especially since the press (PR) had been all gaga over it as “E-mail reinvented”.

But when the real thing was finally activated, it was a disappointment. It didn’t offer anything not already available in Google Mail, just a different way of deleting and moving emails by swiping them across the face of the phone rather than just ticking off the little check-box on the left. Trivial.

A few months later (like, last week), I decided to give it another go after hearing of updates and improvements. Well, what a difference a few months can make! This is now a truly great email handling app, much quicker and intuitive than Google Mail, and quanta ahead of the pathetic native iPhone email app.

The biggest improvement is the ability to batch delete even the inbox. All other apps require you to go through the emails one by one before deleting; a real pain, especially if you quickly scan them and see nothing of relevance. This is what is killing the iPhone email app. Imagine having to kill 150 emails one by one, several times a day!

Mailbox has now become my email app. It draws all its information seamlessly from Google Mail, which you can configure to pick up all your emails from all your various servers. And now it’s also available for iPad, providing a seamless network that updates all your devices (including Google Mail on your desktop) instantly and simultaneously through the cloud.

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