Mailbox’s First App, Orchestra To-Do, Is Shutting Down

Before being acquired by Dropbox for $100 million, before its app became one of the buzzier startups of 2013, the team at Mailbox had been known for Orchestra, a simple to-do list app with tasks you could assign to others, or pull in via email. Now that app is shutting down, and will be removed from the App Store on September 6th, the company says.

The move to shut down the app shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to its users. In order to build the email management application Mailbox, development efforts on Orchestra had stopped. In fact, the company was a case study in what a well-executed pivot should look like – it realized early on that the product wasn’t breaking out to become a mainstream hit, so the team took their initial learnings and applied them to a new area. Orchestra, the App Store’s 2011 Productivity App of the Year, inspired the team to treat emails basically like to-do’s when they moved on to building what then became Mailbox.

orchestra-iosNow at Dropbox, the work on Mailbox continues, the company explains in an announcement about the app’s impending closure, but they need to now discontinue the app and move on.

Users are advised to copy the tasks they have within Orchestra elsewhere before it shuts down, noting that while the app will still launch on your phone if installed after September 6, all cloud services, including sync, task delegation, and access to the web app and customer support, will become unavailable. These, of course, are some of the main reasons why users chose Orchestra in the first place, so there’s little need to keep the app once it’s disconnected.

Though Orchestra was certainly a well-built to-do list application, there’s certainly no lack of task list managers in the iOS App Store ready to step up and takes its place – including some of my personal favorites like AnyDO, FetchNotes, Wunderlist, Evernote, Clear and more.

The full announcement is below:

The next chapter for Orchestra

Back in September 2012 we announced that we were pausing development on Orchestra To-do to build Mailbox. Since launching Mailbox in February we’ve been thrilled and overwhelmed by the reception. By all accounts, Mailbox has been a success so far, and we continue to develop it in earnest.

To help us focus, we’ll be discontinuing Orchestra To-do and removing the app from the App Store on September 6. If you’re still using Orchestra we recommend you copy any tasks that remain on the app and save them elsewhere. After September 6 the app will still launch, but all cloud services including sync, task delegation, access to the web app and customer support will be unavailable.

There is much about Orchestra that we love, and it’s hard for us to say goodbye to it. You may feel the same way. But we believe Mailbox offers a simpler and more direct approach to our mission of solving the problem of using email as a to-do list, and it’s important that we devote all our resources to Mailbox going forward.

As always, we’re grateful to have you with us as we journey to transform how people work together. And if you haven’t yet tried Mailbox, you can grab a copy here.

Thanks so much,
Gentry and the Mailbox team