Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Dropbox to Shut Down Mailbox, Carousel

Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi of Dropbox:

In 2013, we acquired Mailbox because we believed in the way it was making mobile email better. In 2014, we launched Carousel to create a new way to experience and share photos. With both, we aspired to extend the simplicity of Dropbox to other parts of our users’ lives.

Building new products is about learning as much as it’s about making. It’s also about tough choices. Over the past few months, we’ve increased our team’s focus on collaboration and simplifying the way people work together. In light of that, we’ve made the difficult decision to shut down Carousel and Mailbox.

No big surprise. It’s disappointing, though, and it’s compounded by Mailbox’s reliance upon a third-party server: it’s not email; it’s a proprietary backend with an email-like front-end. No matter how much I liked Mailbox — and I really like lots of what Mailbox does — this dependency has always been an inherent flaw, and I don’t think this is adequately explained when setting it up. Most people who use it probably have no idea that their email messages live on a third-party server in between their mail host and their phone.

If you’re aching for a replacement, Spark by Readdle has always been very good, and they’re working on iPad and OS X versions. The Sweet Setup recommends Dispach for iPhone and Airmail for the Mac. I’ve been very content with the default Mail app on all my devices for the last while, though.