February 8, 2013
Some people hate it, but the folks behind the new Mailbox app really know how to string people along. Instead of offering the free app to everyone at once, would-be users have to get on a list. And watching where you are on the list is part of the fun. Unfortunately, Mailbox’s unique reservation system is also bringing down the app’s ratings in the App Store. At the time of this writing, the app is rated three stars overall, even though most of the individual reviews are five stars. Most of the others are one-star ratings from folks that are complaining because they haven’t been allowed to use the app yet. This is a shame. Love it or hate it, but Mailbox’s reservation system is unique and has definitely fueled early talk about the app. Folks shouldn’t give the app a bad review simply because they added their name to the reservation list later than others. If it will make any of our readers feel better, know this. I am still not using Mailbox. At this moment, the app’s reservation system says that there are 55,000 folks still ahead of me. Does Mailbox deserve a one-star rating from me because of where I am in line? No way. Personally, I like the reservation system, and as I noted, it is currently affecting me. Still, I understand why some would dislike it. After all, the app is no longer in beta, so anyone that wants to use it should be able to do so. In addition to being a brilliant marketing ploy, I figure that one of the reasons Orchestra implemented the system in the first place was to make sure the company's servers could handle the large number of users. As a result, although folks on the outside looking in are upset, those on the inside aren't having technical issues, at least that I have heard of. Without the reservation system in place, the app may have also received poor ratings in the App Store. However, in this case, the negative comments would have been about the service's slowness. Regardless, once anyone can get in, Mailbox's success or failure will largely be determined by how well the app actually works. For now, that remains an open question, although our own Juli Clover seems to like it. Want to get in line? Download the app now.