Mailbox was a revelation when it was released in February of 2013. There were literally hundreds of thousands of people that signed up for a waiting list to be able to try out the minimal mail app for iOS (and eventually Android and even OS X). I myself used Mailbox from February 14, 2013– A fitting date, I was in love with Mailbox– until December 8, 2015 when Dropbox (which had acquired Mailbox) announced that Mailbox would be shutting down in February. When the announcement came, I set out to find a suitable alternative. My favorite feature of Mailbox was the notification badge. It always showed the total number of messages in the inbox, even if they were read. This led me to always trying to get all the messages in my inbox replied to as quickly as possible.
I started my quest with Outlook, which is a great mail app. But it doesn’t do the app badge inbox count thing, so I ditched it pretty quickly.
Next, I tried Spark, from Readdle. Readdle makes a handful of great apps for iOS, and they are actively advertising their app as a replacement for Mailbox. You can read about all the tons of cool things Spark does here, but all I care about is making sure I can see the total message count without opening the app. Spark was able to do this, but in the version I tested, it never worked right.
In comes Airmail. Airmail is the only app I’ve mentioned that isn’t free. In fact, as apps go, it’s on the higher-priced side of the scale at $4.99. Here’s the thing though: it’s awesome. The design is clean, it’s powerful as heck, and fast. This is the one I’ve switched to entirely.
Here’s a great article featuring Spark and several others (I only looked at Spark because of the badge issue), and here’s Airmail’s page touting their features.