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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