Postbox 3: Meet The Third Installment of First Class Email

Despite how much everyone hates it, they simply cannot eliminate email from their personal and most importantly professional lives. It’s the ideal form of communication because it’s instant, unintrusive, good for both long and short form communication. And it’s very economical – often times it’s free. So, email isn’t going anywhere.

Folks use various email clients to tackle email overload and the choices in that front are aplenty. I’m not new to Postbox. I have tried it since version one and revisit the app every time there is a new version. So, when there was an opportunity to take a look at the impending version 3.0, I jumped in to get a glimpse of all those new exciting features. And boy, there are so many. Come, join me to take a sneak peek!

Interface Changes

Since we have reviewed the app every step of the way over the years, I thought I would stick to mentioning the new features alone. But before delving into them, I have to rave about how snappy the app has become – right from launch to pulling emails from the server. In under two minutes I got my entire Google Apps account loaded and all I needed to do was to submit the email id and password.

User Interface

User Interface

Immediately after installation I noticed that the icons are more refined in the new version and are of the same color, making for an elegant look. The status bar at the bottom has been done with and you can toggle between multiple views using the row of icons at the top. Oh, and the OS X Lion fullscreen mode is so exquisite!

Better Gmail

Adding a Label to Mail

Adding a Label to Mail

Postbox integrates more tightly with the crowd favorite email service, Gmail. You can now use the same keyboard shortcuts in Postbox as well. Messages can be labelled simply by pressing the L key. Mails from the Priority Inbox (if you have it enabled) are marked with a special tag, just like in the Gmail web app.

More Social

Configuring Social Accounts

Configuring Social Accounts

You cannot sell anything these days without having a big, bright label screaming social. Postbox now pulls in profile photos from LinkedIn and Gravatar (in addition to Facebook, Twitter, and the Address Book.) And if it isn’t already there in the address book, the company name you work for and the job title are imported from LinkedIn as well.

The dev team has successfully managed to add the right amount of social ingredients without adding to the clutter or making the app a bloatware. Kudos!

Dropbox Integration

Dropbox Integration

Dropbox Integration

This is a brilliant idea. Now that everyone and their cat has a Dropbox account, why locate and upload files as attachments or copy and paste links? Just drag and drop files from the Dropbox folder to your compose window and the app will automatically insert the relevant links. The recipients can click and access the files the same way they do normal hyperlinks.

There is also support for sending message content to Evernote, which is a great way to save any long-term information you need to remember.

That’s not all..

Favorite Bar

Favorite Bar

For those who have a tiny screen, there is the option to hide the left pane. This is located in the all new Favorite bar which also can be used to access folders and accounts that you use the most. Right click on the folder or account and choose add to favorites to move it to the bar.

Sidebar Search

Sidebar Search

The Compose window side bar is another helpful little elf! From the sidebar, you can for addresses, files or images from the conversations you have in your mailbox. You can either filter files shared with a particular contact or from the entire pool. I bet this is one feature everyone is gonna fall in love with!

Final Thoughts

The Postbox team has done a fabulous job and I could just go on and on. They have polished the app to perfection and have added a whole lot more productive features. I found it surprising that features like canned responses and date detection were introduced only in this release. But after going through the laundry list of new and improved features in 3.0, I guess it’s all in there!

I constantly switch between Windows, Mac and iOS platforms daily and even before this juggling act, I have been a loud proponent of web apps. But, that has changed to a large extent thanks to the dynamite native apps of the iOS ecosystem. Mail is still one area that is sacrosanct and is largely web only. But that is going to change on Mac, right now.

Postbox 3.0 can be purchased from their online store for $29.95. If you already own version 1 or 2, the upgrade will set you back by just $9.95!


Summary

Postbox is a desktop email application for Mac and Windows, which does so much more — a system for managing your life.

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  • http://shiienurm.com Steff

    Link is broken.

  • Mladjo

    I was a big fan of Postbox and used it for a long time. However, they disappointed me because this new update is not available through Mac App Store. So, so stupid move. I have transferred to Sparrow and will not ever look back.

    • astrodad

      And why is that a deal breaker? When you buy it, your license is good across Windows and Mac, the app can update itself and notify you of updates.

    • http://hdofu.me hdofu

      So you preferred the cripple app store version?

    • Rubens Lopes

      Stupid move?? They certainly did it to avoid Apple’s mac app store lame limitations! I totally support them.

  • Vitaly

    It didn’t import my smart folders and RSS feeds from Mail.app; it didn’t identify most of e-mail conversations; I don’t see my Facebook feed for some reason (even though it seems to be set up correctly). Overall, I don’t see any reason why I should switch from Mail.app to Postbox.

    • Vitaly

      Ah, uhm, sorry, it’s not supposed to display Facebook feeds. But then this was the only reason why I wanted to try it. :)

  • Danny Tam

    I’ve tried to love Postbox over the years and just had a love-hate relationship with it. I retired out of using desktop email clients for 2 years after having used Thunderbird for most of its lifespan, then got back into using Postbox before the interface just aggravated me. I love the features, but I wouldn’t say it was put into a “refined” package by any sense.

    Sparrow on the other hand, while lacking serious features, has the bulk in there to handle my daily email needs and then some. While it’s beginning to get a bit bloaty, I wouldn’t change using it for anything else given the user interface and ease of use.

  • Kris

    My first impression of dropbox, wasn’t that good. The app just reminds me too much of the sluggyness that made it’s entrance into mozilla based products.

    The interface feels slow, I stick to mail for now.

  • Joe

    Mail.app

    -Gmail, Check
    -Exchange work email, Check
    -Labels, Check
    -Elegant and minimalists interface, Check

    That is all. :)

    • http://techinch.com/ Matthew Guay

      Lion’s new features in Mail have stopped my search for a great email app too. It’s really great stuff.

  • http://www.traviswhite.com.au Travis

    Postbox is simply awesome! I grew tired of the idiosyncrasies of the Mail app on the mac so I switched to Postbox which in my mind handles Gmail far better than Mac Mail ever will. Postbox is also way easier to configure than Mac Mail. There is a good reason an app like Postbox gets created… mainly because Mac Mail fails at a lot of things where Postbox far exceeds it!

    • Joseph Cotton

      Travis,

      If you tell me what it is that you’re having trouble with in Mail.app, I’ll send you a quick ‘How To” and I’ll guarantee you that that you’ll change your mind.

      • Henk

        I’m not Travis, but I can give you a few reason why I strongly prefer Postbox above Mail.app (in Snow Leopard that is, Lion had some improvements)
        First is decent labeling and filtering which is a drag in Mail. You can flag a message, but that’s it. You can’t use different labels. there’s no quick filter to view only certain labels or flags. In Lion there are different Flags, but I don’t know if you can filter these and sync them with Gmail.
        Then there’s attachments. Mail is persistent in placing pdf’s and images inline in the message, which confuses windows users, and it’s especially annoying when it’s a full size image. I used to mail these as a zip, so others could download it easily. Also when setting up Mail you have to make sure attachments are windows friendly, I’ve never had this trouble with postbox.

  • http://iamdevan.tumblr.com Devan

    I’m too in love with Sparrow.

  • Yunus Tunak

    Was a big fan of Postbox on launch and used for almost 2 years but updating the app 1 > 2 > 3 annually and asking for money on each is a money trap for so little difference, even from 1 to 2.. It should be version 1.3 or something like that..

    Also it works like crap with exchange.

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  • Clyde

    I reckon its rubbish , it does not even cater for migration properly. Asking you to migrate Outlook for mac manually… BUUULLLLSHIT BOYS ( ended up with corrupted display or no text yada yada yada- import software is rag and bone obviously), anyone who really uses email professionally has to migrate at least a few thousand mails ( I have 12000- but tried as few as 20 as a last resort). I dicked with it for hours and be assured… Im no slouch having ran all macs ever made since 1995 for up to 10 hours a day and never needed professional help once. Seriously old 08 Entourage even kills it and I rate all microsoft as pretty crappy….

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  • Neil

    “unintrusive”
    Couldn’t read on after that.
    He probably called this app “very unique”…

  • DACinNYC

    I’ve been using Postbox for a few years, and genuinely have tried to make it work for me. I’m not a ‘Power User’ by any means, but, the product offering is buggy.

    For me, the never-ending ‘spinning pumpkin’ drove me crazy! Through a number of new releases, the program would bog down and crash. Many, Many times. I have to say, that unlike others, my support inquiries were always responded too.

    One issue that seems to be a structural problem is Indexing. If you have anything in the way of large email folders – good luck. I was always turning off indexing, re-indexing etc.

    It’s a pretty program, with a lot to offer – however, I’ve migrated back to Thunderbird, and am happy (even understanding the future support limitations there as well).

    Dean

  • http://about.me/studgeek David Rees

    If only they supported the Priority Inbox in some way. Just having an Important folder isn’t enough since it needs to be filtered by Inbox AND Important.

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