Hundreds of thousands line up for new mail app

Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:13pm EST
 
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By Natasha Baker

TORONTO (Reuters) - More than 800,000 people are waiting to access a new iPhone app that aims to transform their email experience by helping them achieve the elusive "inbox zero" -- a fully processed and empty inbox.

The Mailbox app, which launched this month, is slowly rolling out invitations to people waiting in line. The excitement, according to its creators, is a testament to their frustration with existing, out-dated methods of dealing with email.

"The big shift is away from a mobile email client that is a shrunken version of a desktop email client towards a mobile email client focused primarily around processing and triage," said Gentry Underwood, the CEO and co-founder of Palo-Alto-based company Orchestra, which created the app.

The ability to "snooze" an email, which is to defer it to another time, whether later in the day, on the weekend, or until the following week, is one of the main features of the app.

"We want to decide ‘do I need to reply now', ‘can I deal with this later', or ‘should I get it out of the way and never deal with it again?'" he said.

The other strong point is its use of gestural swipes for quickly archiving, deleting and filing messages, or adding them to lists, such as "to read", or "to buy".

The company, which also created to-do list app Orchestra, pulls inspiration from author David Allen's "Getting Things Done" system. The system outlines a rule of "do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it" to help people maintain empty inboxes.

"That creates a very different experience and peace of mind where you know that everything is in its place," said Underwood.   Continued...