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Inbox2 does email + social networks in style, but not for everyone


Inbox2 is a "premium connected lifestyle application". I'm not making that phrase up -- it's from their about page. In simpler terms, it's an email client which also does Facebook and Twitter. And it's beautiful. Seriously -- this thing is in-your-face gorgeous. I love the color scheme!

Since the premise is fairly easy to understand, I'd like to share a short list of pros and cons from my testing tonight.

The good stuff:

  • It's beautiful. Looks matter, and this thing is gorgeous. I know I said it -- it bears repeating.
  • It has some neat productivity features built in, such as a "waiting for reply" label which is really important.
  • Syncs up with just about every service under the sun. GMail (and any POP/IMAP mail server), Facebook, Twitter, Yammer... Check out the screenshot in the gallery to see what I mean.
  • It's easy to switch accounts off and on when you want to focus on what matters.
The bad stuff:
  • Wow, what memory hog. Why can't apps look good and not take up 265MB of RAM?
  • It spammed my entire Facebook contact list on installation! What is up with that? It just sent out a status update on my behalf! Frankly, that is enough for me to uninstall the whole thing. Really intrusive, imho.
  • No RTL (right-to-left, Hebrew/Arabic) support for composing messages. I know most of you don't care about this one, but I do. :) It does display RTL messages properly, as you can see in the screenshot.
  • There's no simple conversation view, a-la Gmail. I got so used to the GMail "conversation" paradigm, that seeing separate messages in my inbox was suddenly a bit confusing. It does have a "thread" view, but each thread takes up a lot of vertical space in the list.
Bottom line: I give it 6.5. Nice looks, but functionality needs a bit of work. It loses most points on the over-excited Facebook update it decided to send out on my behalf.

A few more screenshots after the jump.
Enthusiastically spamming my Facebook contacts without asking:

Support for tons of services:

Simple (and sparse) options dialog:

Tags: email, facebook, gmail, imap, inbox, inbox2, social, twitter