A guide to choosing a Mailbox App alternative

Email clients have evolved quite a bit since Mailbox was discontinued. Read this guide to find the most suitable Mailbox App alternative for your smartphone.
The Mailbox app was released a decade ago as a capable email client for iPhone. Unfortunately, it was discontinued in 2016, soon after the release of the Android version, leaving users in need of a replacement.If you’ve tried a few options but still haven’t found a suitable Mailbox app alternative, this guide will help by explaining what you should look for in an email client. You will also find five email clients worth considering for both personal and business users.
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Why was Mailbox discontinued?

Mailbox drew a lot of attention when it launched in 2013. A well-known startup called Orchestra created it, and over a million users wanted to try the app before it officially launched.The email client quickly became so popular that it piqued the interest of Dropbox, which reportedly bought Mailbox for an astounding $100 million.Dropbox had the idea to “fundamentally fix email” using Mailbox, so it kept supporting the app’s growth. After the iPhone version, Mailbox was developed for Android and macOS, though the latter never made it past the beta version.After unsuccessful experiments with new features, Dropbox announced shutting down Mailbox. By February 2016, the app was no longer available.

What to look for in alternatives to Mailbox

Mailbox had some useful features, but it wasn’t perfect. It only supported Gmail and iCloud accounts, which would be quite limiting for today’s average user. Your email client should support other major providers (Yahoo, Outlook, etc.) to ensure versatility.Besides extensive support, you should consider four factors when choosing an email client:
  1. Cross-platform support—Even if you’re looking for an iPhone email client specifically, you never know which device you might use to access your emails, so your chosen platform should support all major operating systems or have a web version accessible from different devices
  2. Well-designed user interface—Your email client’s design should accommodate productivity and avoid unnecessary clutter. While the esthetic appeal is largely subjective, minimalistic web clients are currently the most popular due to being easy on the eyes
  3. Organization features—Filters, labels, folders, and advanced email search are among the key features of every solid email client. They’re particularly important if your work heavily relies on email
  4. Pricing—You shouldn’t pay for an email client unless you genuinely need advanced options. Even then, you should do some diligent research to avoid overpaying
  5. Security—An email client should store as little information as possible and protect stored data and correspondence with end-to-end encryption (E2EE). This ensures emails are encrypted using the keys created and stored on your device, so nobody but the recipient can see your messages

Five Mailbox App alternatives reviewed

Each email client has a unique selling point, so your chosen platform mainly depends on your preferences and workflow. To give you some diverse options, we’ll cover five email clients:
  1. Apple Mail
  2. Edison Mail
  3. Spike
  4. Proton Mail
  5. Skiff Mail

Apple Mail

Source: App StoreIf you specifically need an email client for the Apple ecosystem—and aren’t looking for any over-the-top features—Apple Mail can be a solid option. Many users won’t need to move away from the native app solution, as it has decent features.The interface is clean and mostly intuitive, though Apple Mail comes with some unnecessary complications. For instance, to add an attachment, you first have to tap the left-facing arrow on the right side above the keyboard and then choose the attachment type you want to add.You get some standard organization features, including:
  • Swipe actions
  • Reminders
  • Folders and flags (labels)
  • Mass deletion
This should satisfy the needs of casual or personal users, but if you need a business email client, Apple Mail’s organization features are a bit lackluster. A particularly notable drawback is that you can’t create custom labels—you can only label emails with predetermined colors.Like most Big Tech providers, Apple Mail doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption by default. There’s optional S/MIME integration you can find with most email services and clients, but it can be time-consuming to set up as you first have to buy a certificate and then configure it manually. You do get Mail Privacy Protection, which removes tracking pixels from incoming mail to prevent the tracking of your email activity.Even though Apple Mail is exclusive to Apple devices, it can be accessed through the web version if needed.
Free to use and built into Apple devicesNo advanced organization options
Clean user interfaceE2EE only possible with S/MIME
Mail Privacy Protection.

Edison Mail

Source: Edison MailEdison Mail is a multi-platform client available on iOS, macOS, and Android. It’s primarily focused on convenience and email organization, so it suits casual and more advanced users.The inbox features a dedicated Focus tab similar to Outlook’s, highlighting the most important emails. It’s not always 100% accurate, as it sometimes misplaces important emails, but most email clients make such mistakes occasionally. The feature works well most of the time and is useful if you receive many emails daily.The Assistant feature is by far the most notable one because it sets Edison Mail apart from most alternatives. It’s an AI-based organizer that pulls various data from your emails, such as:
  • Coupons
  • Hotel bookings
  • Flight details
  • Bills and receipts
After recognizing the above data, the Assistant creates widgets with the key information, which you can access from a dedicated tab. The widgets are organized by relevance so that you have the necessary details readily available.The only downside of the Assistant is that it’s only available in the U.S., so users from other countries can’t enable it.Edison Mail is free, but you can subscribe to Mail+ for $14.99 per month if you want advanced phishing protection. This is the only additional feature you get, so it may not be worth the investment.
Multi-platform supportThe Assistant is only available in the U.S.
Focused inboxThe paid tier might not justify the price
AI-powered Assistant feature.


Source: SpikeSpike is an innovative productivity platform that can combine emails from various providers into a chat-like interface. It brings together traditional emailing and real-time communication to create a more streamlined workflow.The platform has various features business users might appreciate, most notably:
  • Video meetings
  • Collaborative docs
  • Groups
  • Unified search encompassing conversations, attachments, notes, etc.
Spike is available as a web app and also has designated Android and iOS apps. There’s no desktop support for Windows or Mac, which might be inconvenient for some users.The platform is free for up to five people, so you must upgrade to a paid plan to add more users to your workspace. You can choose from two tiers:
  1. Team—$6/user per month (billed annually)
  2. Business+—$9/user per month (billed annually)
Spike doesn’t cater to personal users, so it may not be the best choice unless you’re specifically looking for a collaboration platform. While it’s possible to use the app independently, some of its main features won’t be useful.As for security, Spike uses the AES-256 algorithm for encryption and claims to only collect the necessary user data. While this is the industry standard and generally considered secure, you may not get as much privacy as you would with an end-to-end encrypted service.
Chat-based interfaceNot particularly suitable for personal use
Various collaboration featuresNo Mac or Windows versions
Unified search.

Proton Mail

Source: Proton MailProton Mail is a secure email platform created by a well-known VPN provider. It’s an end-to-end encrypted solution aimed primarily at security-conscious users and has become a popular alternative to Big Tech providers.It’s free to use, and you can get access to four additional platforms when you sign up:
  1. Proton Calendar for scheduling
  2. Proton Drive for secure file storage
  3. Proton VPN for anonymity and network security
  4. Proton Pass for password management
The interface is clean and modern, so the overall emailing experience is pleasant enough for an average user. You get some basic organization features like folders and labels without any advanced functions.The main downside of Proton Mail is that it uses the Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) encryption standard, which several providers have moved away from due to significant vulnerabilities. While you get more privacy than with a typical Big Tech platform, E2EE implementation could be better.Proton Mail’s privacy policies also underwent scrutiny in 2021 after a scandal involving the provider’s collaboration with the authorities, when it revealed a user’s sensitive information. This was an isolated incident, but it still made users somewhat uncomfortable and skeptical.The platform’s limited storage is another notable disadvantage. You only get 1 GB with the free plan, and even the highest-paid tier is limited to 500 GB, which may not be enough for advanced users.
End-to-end encryptionPGP used for end-to-end encryption
Four additional platforms are included in the free planDamaged reputation due to a privacy scandal
Well-designed user interface.

Skiff Mail

Source: SkiffSkiff Mail is an end-to-end encrypted email provider that keeps your data and emails confidential using two separate encryption keys—public and private.The public key is used to encrypt the email and is shared with the recipient, while the private decryption key remains safely stored on the recipient’s device. Key creation and storage happen on the user’s device only, so nobody can see unencrypted copies of emails—including Skiff’s team.To allow users to keep their personal identifiers private, Skiff implements three additional security measures:
  1. Zero-knowledge login—Lets you sign up without leaving your name, phone number, and other personal information
  2. Secure Remote Password—Used to encrypt all critical account data, such as login credentials and encryption keys, for stronger security
  3. Two-factor authentication (2FA)—Secures your account beyond login credentials using a one-time passcode generated by the Authenticator app
The above security measures extend to all of Skiff’s end-to-end encrypted platforms:Skiff ensures full transparency by being an open source platform—you can find the codebase on GitHub and check out the whitepaper for more information. It also has extensive cross-platform support and is compatible with browsers, iOS, macOS, Android, and Windows.Whichever device you use, make sure to follow the necessary security practices, as Skiff Mail (like any other provider) can’t offer complete protection if the device is corrupted by malware.
Transition seamlessly to SkiffSkiff protects all your data and provides a smooth transition to a privacy-focused email experience
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Strong end-to-end encryptionCan’t guarantee protection if your device is infected with malware
Comprehensive productivity suite.
Open source.

Ensure private correspondence with Skiff’s free rich plan

Skiff offers a free plan without time restrictions, providing everything you need for a seamless workflow:
  • 10 GB of storage, which is well above the industry standard
  • Fast email search, including text search that lets you find anything specific in the email’s contents
  • Filters, labels, and folders for comprehensive email management
  • Four Skiff.com aliases that let you manage emails from several addresses in one inbox
  • A custom email domain for a professional presentation
  • Schedule and undo-send functions for enhanced flexibility
You can create your free account to get the above features in three steps:
  1. Visit the signup page
  2. Choose a username and password
  3. Explore Skiff Mail and other end-to-end encrypted platforms
If you want up to 1 TB of storage and other useful features like auto-reply, you can upgrade to one of Skiff’s three paid plans, starting at only $3 per month.While Skiff is an email client and a provider, you don’t need to lose your existing correspondence to get started. The platform’s one-click migration lets you transfer all important emails and data in no time, after which they’ll be encrypted immediately. Skiff won’t store unencrypted copies of your emails, so you can enjoy complete privacy.

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