Dropbox-owned Mailbox has just added a couple of nice features, including the ability to search all of your Gmail messages in the cloud and locally on your device. Previously, you could only dig through messages that had already been downloaded, which was one of the big flaws that stopped me from continuing to use the app.
Searching is quick and happens in two stages. Type your query and you’ll get an instant list of local results. Mailbox polls Gmail in the background and begins filling out results from the server as soon as it has them in a list. At some points in my testing, I did get a gray overlay that said ‘no results’ while it was still searching the cloud. I’d love to see this better indicate that you might have results, they’re just on their way — especially when you have a poor network connection. Most of the searches were quick enough to fill out the list fairly swiftly.
In addition to the new cloud search option, you can now also attach signatures to individual emails based on the address that you’re using to send them. So if you’re replying to an email from your work address, they’ll see the signature you use for work, not the pocket robot joke you use on your personal account.
In what is a growing trend with apps on Apple’s iOS platform, the new Mailbox also allows you to toggle an option to open links inside Chrome, Google’s alternative browser. Google’s apps have, of course, been making a habit of this. That includes Gmail, which now makes it possible to open links in Chrome and almost all attachments in their corresponding Google apps like Drive.
Mailbox, in what is an unsurprising but nice little synergistic move, continues to give away 1GB of free space on Dropbox when you link your account up to Mailbox. Mailbox recently added Dropbox integration for attachments, and this is a great way to drive people to the settings menu to toggle that option on.
Mailbox continues to iterate on its initial promise, especially in terms of thinking outside of the device itself and into the cloud. Which is, pretty much, the exact reason why you’d be excited about being acquired by a company like Dropbox.