Ever since theÂ impending death of Mailbox was announced, I've been looking for a new email app to replace it. The one I've been spending the most time with is Inbox,Â Google's attempt at building a smarter interface for Gmail. There's a lot to like â€”Â and dislike â€”Â about Inbox, yet one thing that's stood out as a downside for me is the fact that Google is unlikely to ever turn it into a desktop app. Inbox will always be a web app first, so why would it bother?
Google may not ever obtain around to it, yet someone else has. A pair of developers have put togetherÂ an app called Boxy that turns Inbox into something that looks like a native Mac app. Boxy is essentially identical to Inbox on the web: you obtain a single column list of emails, & clicking on an item will expand it inline, allowing you to quickly read & respond. Related emails (like newsletters or promotions) will be grouped together into a single line to declutter your screen, & images, attachments, & event invitations will moreover appear on the main screen for quick access.
Commenting on the function of Boxy's interface is sort of a strange thing to do, since it's really a critique of Inbox. There's next to nothing different approximately how Boxy works â€“Â it's just loading Inbox on the web & then transforming it into what looks like a native app. That's tremendous news if you love Inbox, yet if you don't, Boxy isn't going to be the perfect app for you.
Boxy needs to feel more native
Even if you do love Inbox, Boxy has its limitations. It loads & moves between emails quickly, yet its animations can be a little more sluggish than Inbox on the web. And since Inbox doesn't have support for multiple accounts, moving between two email addresses in Boxy means loading the new one every time you want to make a switch. That's the only account you'll obtain notifications for, too (and, unfortunately, you obtain notified for every email, rather than for only select emails like Inbox does on mobile).
For now, Boxy does have a few things that Inbox can't do. That includes native desktop notifications, a condensed sidebar, & â€” you know â€”Â the ability to keep Inbox on your desktop without a browser around it. For something as heavily used as your email client, that's not a crazy thing to want. Boxy moreover adds a dedicated reading mode, which makes emails take up the entirety of the app's screen & formats them in bigger, tidier type & spacing.
A developer behind Boxy says that some of its immediate shortcomings areÂ being worked on. They intend to speed up account switching, improve performance & the smoothness of animations, & generally start to make Boxy stand out more on its own. That includes adding a standalone compose window & the ability for Boxy to do split screen & fullscreen. Basically, stuff that'll make it feel more like a native app than it does now.
Boxy launched a little over a week ago & is currently on saleÂ in the Mac App Store for $4.99. It's not going to become my dedicated desktop email app â€”Â I really need something that lets me see more at once â€”Â but Boxy might fit in for someone looking for a simpler experience; essentially, the sort of zen inbox that Inbox already offers. Down the road, if Boxy's developers keep building on the groundwork that Inbox has laid, it could obtain a lot more interesting.
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