(UPDATE: After a month of research, I converted to CloudMagic. I've been using them for a couple of months, and I'm loving it. Sorry Mailbox--thanks for the memories.)

I didn't sleep well last night. I was hoping it was all just a bad dream, a wicked nightmare that I could shake off and leave behind.

But this morning, my fears were confirmed with an official email:

Dropbox is killing off Mailbox, the best email app ever.

Why, Dropbox, why?

According to the latest post from the official Mailbox blog:

When the Mailbox team joined Dropbox in 2013, we shared a passion for simplifying the way people work together. And solving the email problem seemed like a strong complement to the challenges Dropbox was already tackling.

But as we deepened our focus on collaboration, we realized there's only so much an email app can do to fundamentally fix email. We've come to believe that the best way for us to improve people's productivity going forward is to streamline the workflows that generate so much email in the first place.

I get it--email is the enemy. But let's be honest: It's not going anywhere. Slack is great for internal messages, but B2B and other external communication will always be necessary. And email is still the best way to do it.

Just a couple of years ago, Mailbox boasted it was "the future of email." But the crazy thing is, it actually delivered. The approach of organizing emails was the first of its kind: swipe messages to the right to archive or delete, swipe to the left to "snooze" until later. It only sounds simplistic now because so many others followed suit.

But that's not what made the app so great. Mailbox was simple, easy to use, and pretty to look at. Like any software, it had its flaws, but that's why the initial partnership was so exciting: When Dropbox acquired Orchestra (the company behind Mailbox) back in 2013 for $100 million, they pledged not to kill the beloved app...but rather, to make it better.

Nowadays, Dropbox is focusing on business customers, as competition with rival company Box is heating up. Box went public earlier this year and is currently valued around $1.7 billion; Dropbox is valued much higher, at about $10 billion. The real money is in enterprise collaboration, where Box has traditionally focused heavy resources. That means Dropbox has a long road ahead to convince investors that it's really worth the current valuation--which helps explain the reallocation of resources. (Dropbox is also shutting down Carousel, its popular consumer-oriented photo app.)

But I just can't let go. And I'm not alone.

Now what?

The question is: What's our next move, fellow Mailbox devotees?

The new Outlook app by Microsoft is getting good reviews, and supposedly works well with various clients (Gmail, Yahoo, etc.). But I can't shake the feeling that they're eventually going to push me to go Microsoft.

Turing Email looks promising (TechCrunch claims it makes checking your inbox "as fun as using Slack"); however, it costs $10 a month. I have no problem with that if it's really good--but it's a startup. Do I really want to risk going through this experience all over again?

Maybe I should just take my time. I'm not interested in falling in love with some new, promising email service only to realize a few months later I'm in a rebound relationship.

For now, I'll just savor the memories. Rest in peace, Mailbox.

You'll be missed.

Published on: Dec 8, 2015