The Virtual Line: Race for the Newest App

Kaylyn Boccia, Staff Writer


One of the things our society loves about the Internet, technology and the development of smart phones is the ability to instantaneously have things at our fingertips. When you think about these technologies, waiting in line or having reservations are not what comes to mind, however, the new Mailbox app may be changing that. The Mailbox application for the iPhone, right now, is the hottest thing in mobile email. However, in order to gain access to this app, iPhone users are required to make a reservation, on a first-come-first-serve basis, and wait in line. This line is extremely long with over 800,000 people on the waiting list. In a society where we hate lines and waiting more than seconds for anything, what is it about this Mailbox app that defies this logic?
Once you have been approved for inclusion into this email world, the Mailbox app does not fail to feed our need for immediacy. One of the main perks of this application is the ability to quickly fly through your email. This is made possible with the feature sending mail to your archive or trash with one swipe. To also help make delivery as fast as possible, emails are checked by Mailbox from your cloud and sent to your phone securely. It also allows for easy organization and to stay on task. Snoozing messages is a feature that sends messages that you cannot currently deal with “away” until a later time. This feature automatically sends mail back to your inbox so you don’t have to worry about losing the information, but also allows you not to stress about dealing with something you cannot worry about at that moment. This feature along with sending messages to archive or trash instantly, creates what Mailbox is calling the “inbox zero.” These are the features that are causing such excitement over this app. A frustration with outdated systems is why these new forms of old technologies have been created. Email is an old form of communication, which Mailbox has found a way to reinvent.
“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. A huge amount of requests to join are made daily, with no specific timeline as to how long it will be until their request is granted. The purpose of this line, according to Underwood, is to maintain stability of their system. The countdown in the app keeps customers updated as to where they stand.
Mailbox currently works only with Gmail, but the company plans to expand to other mail hosts in the future. This app provides many new features over the iPhone mail app. However, Mailbox does have one drawback in that there is no ability to multi-edit or multi-delete messages. Nevertheless, that does not seem to be enough to stop iPhone owners from wanting this application and willing to wait for it.
Metaphorically speaking, this app is like having an assistant living inside of our iPhones. This assistant organizes your messages, gets rid of the junk and saves important mail for the right time, when your schedule will allow it. If asked to wait in a real line of over 800,000 it is extremely likely that people would laugh in your face, much less comply, yet waiting on this cyber line seems like a no brainer to most. For this reason, it is clear that Mailbox’s updates to the mobile world of email have enough perks to be worth the wait.

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