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Mailbox For iPad Tames Gmail Inbox

Popular email app Mailbox competes directly with Gmail's own Gmail app for iOS.

5 Apple iPad 5 Wishes
5 Apple iPad 5 Wishes
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Mailbox today released a new version of its email application that is compatible with the iPad. Mailbox 1.3 is now a universal app and works on either the iPhone or the iPad. It can be downloaded for free from the iTunes App Store.

The app is currently compatible only with Google's Gmail email system. The developer has not said directly that it will offer support for other operating systems or email systems, but has implied that it wants to share the app with as many people as possible.

Mailbox helps power users conquer their inbox by streamlining the email user interface. For example, you can use swiping gestures to delete or archive messages, and view email threads in their entirety thanks to the chat-like layout. It also allows you to do things such as "snooze" your email, which makes it temporarily disappear until you have more time to deal with it. It pushes email from Google's servers to the iPad and iPhone securely, and offers support for multiple accounts and iOS notifications.

[ Is Google out-innovating Apple? Read Google To Apple: Catch Us If You Can. ]

The iPad version was designed to take advantage of the extra screen real estate of the larger device without adding too much clutter. The result is a clean, efficient app that makes sorting through your Gmail a breeze.

Mailbox was purchased by online storage provider Dropbox earlier this year. Dropbox believes adding Mailbox to its cloud-based offerings will "save millions of people a lot of pain" when it comes to handling their email and files. Dropbox has file management apps that work with most smartphone and tablet platforms. When Dropbox purchased Mailbox, it said it hoped to offer Mailbox to as many people as possible in the near future. Today's new version of Mailbox for the iPad is the first major release from the company since the acquisition.

The app is a direct threat to Google's own Gmail app for iOS devices. Gmail for iOS is a capable piece of software that runs circles around the native iOS email application. For iOS devices, the Gmail app offers support for multiple accounts, swiping inbox sorting, and support for folders, labels, and other Gmail-specific tools. Many iOS device owners use Gmail's app rather than the email application built into iOS. Both Mailbox and Gmail rate 4.5+ stars from users and have tens of thousands of reviews.

With Mailbox and Gmail outgunning Apple's mobile email app, it will be interesting to see what approach Apple brings to email in iOS 7, which is expected to preview next month during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference.

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