Back in mid-December, I wrote about an app that looked as if it had the potential to replace both Apple’s stock mail client and Sparrow, a third-party Gmail app that was bought by Google last summer. Orchestra, the developers behind that app, are now accepting reservations for when the application launches. It appears that, in order to successfully use Mailbox, the user will have to input a string of numbers from Orchestra, thus claiming a reserved spot.
According to a blog post from the team behind Mailbox, this method will allow them to “ensure that people using Mailbox have a reliable and lightning-fast experience.” Mailbox, which has been described as a cross between Clear and Sparrow in that its interface appears to eschew the traditional chrome of an iPhone app, but still looks to be an incredibly powerful option for Gmail aficionados, will be a free app. Because of that, the developers are expecting a deluge of users to download the app, though such a system will allow them to keep users who are only interested in downloading the app and then deleting it away.
At first, Mailbox will be limited to Gmail accounts only, and will only run on the iPhone and iPod touch. However, Orchestra has stated that they have plans to expand their app’s reach – an iPad client seems likely, and something for the Mac may also make an appearance eventually. However, a client for Android seems unlikely, given that Android’s native Gmail client is already so good.
In order to reserve a space, one must go to this page and simply enter their iPhone’s phone number. An SMS message will then be sent to that number, and it will include both a reservation number and a confirmation code. That code will be required in order to claim a copy of the app when it finally launches in the next few weeks.