Back in 2015 Tim Lepczyk wrote about organizing email using Inbox, a new interface for Gmail. Since then (and since the demise of my previous favorite email interface, Mailbox), I’ve been using Inbox to manage my own email. I particularly value the features it shares with Mailbox, such as the ability to
I have grown to strongly prefer Inbox’s task-oriented approach to email. While one can sort emails into Gmail folders in Inbox, the interface is really designed to process it. I rarely use folder anymore. When emails come in I either snooze them until a better time/place, or I respond and then archive them. If I need to find them again I do so using Inbox’s search, which has rarely failed me. I used to be meticulous about sorting email into an elaborate folder system and was nervous about abandoning it. Now I click
What I never liked about Inbox, however, was that while on my phone it ran in a well designed, minimalist app, on my computer it only ran in a browser tab. I didn’t like keeping a browser tab always open for it. And yes, I know I could have simply closed it, and perhaps should have done more often—but I didn’t. While a few folks released Inbox
Recently, however, two potentially strong desktop applications have been released for Inbox (as well as other messaging platforms). Maha Bali wrote about Rambox last December, which allows users to manage Inbox along with a number of other apps such as Tweetdeck, Slack, Hangouts, Skype, and WhatsApp through a single interface. Rambox is free and open source, and I tried it for a few days on my Mac, but it didn’t grab me. The interface just didn’t feel as slick and seamless as I would like—which I realize is picky. If a clean interface isn’t the most important thing to you—or at least, nota as important as
Which brings me to Wavebox, which is also cross-platform but which has a cleaner, more responsive interface (in my impression) that I found immediately pleasant to use. Its memory footprint is small, as it automatically sleeps apps that aren’t being used—they remain signed it and will deliver notifications, but they aren’t using as much memory and power. Wavebox claims that it manages web applications much more efficiently than if the same apps were all open in browser tabs, but I haven’t verified this with an independent test. Subjectively, this seems to be true, as Wavebox never seems to drag on my system.
As an interface for Inbox, I really love Wavebox. In many ways it is also a wrapper to a browser tab, but there’s an attention to the small details of interface that makes it more pleasant to use than those earlier attempts. In particular, its notifications and downloads integrate well with the operating system. In short, it feels more like a standalone application and I enjoy using Inbox more in this way.
Unlike Rambox, however, Wavebox is not free. You can use it with up to two Gmail or Inbox accounts for free, meaning if you wanted to simply use it as an application for Inbox (as I’ve been doing), it will not cost anything. If you wanted to run a number of web apps in Wavebox however, a Pro Account will cost you $19.95 per year—not a one-time cost. I tried Pro for the allowed 14 days and enjoyed having everything together, but I have not yet sprung for a paid Pro account. I am really enjoying the application as an interface for Inbox, however, and may bring more apps aboard with a Pro account in the future. Wavebox has definitely become my day-to-day means for accessing Inbox.
Are you an Inbox user, or do you prefer another email client? Tell us about your favorite email client and application in the comments.
via Tumblr Testing Wavebox for Google Inbox (and More)
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