Echoing my sentiments from Twitter:
The reservation system is a novel and elegant solution for needing to distribute load, but I think a normal person would get fed up and delete the app. When designing systems, especially gatekeepers for our apps, we should understand that we, the makers, are almost never the target audience—unless you have little desire to grow your business. Most people aren't us.
Sounds like the waiting list needs a time estimate. Big numbers are scary.
Totally agree with what you said. But! "Most people" don't download apps the day they come out. Most people that end up downloading this app will be able to use it immediately. As it is, the early-adopting, first-in-lining, app-tweeting crowd is busy promoting this app to their friends by comparing their number in line -- effectively saying, without even having used the app: "man...this thing is really worth waiting for. better get in on it now!" I'd bet that their friends who download the app today ~won't delete it. They'll just close it. And get a push notification in a couple days telling them that they're in. That's tens of thousands of users they wouldn't have touched without this launch strategy.
Personally, I tip my hat to these guys for architecting this launch strategy...and cringe for the inevitable hoard of apps/services that will surely attempt to copy it.
I'm not sure what it's like in the US, but here in Australia Mailbox's rating in the app store is a firm one-and-a-half stars. "Regular" people are finding out about Mailbox by browsing the "Top Apps" list, downloading it, getting confused by the queue, then leaving negative reviews.
The queue is certainly a novelty, and has generated some interest, but I wonder whether the Mailbox team couldn't have handled it differently.
12,998 people in front of me…
With all the apps on my iphone, I regularly go through and eliminate ones that I haven't used in awhile. If I have to wait months for my invite to work, I'm almost positive it's going to get deleted before then. They're smart for getting phone numbers to circumvent the possible deletion of their app and loss of push notifications, but I'm almost tempted to delete it now. I know they're claiming the wait is because their servers might get overloaded, but to me it smells a bit like artificial scarcity.
Another thing: I'm still perfectly happy with Sparrow. I know they won't be supporting it any longer, but it's still an amazing app. I currently don't need another one to handle my email.
At any rate, they've got me talking about their product, and that doesn't happen to 95% of the apps I download. They're doing something right I guess.
And I'll probably purposely or accidentally delete the invite code that's in my sms inbox by then too.. then I'd be back to the back of the line on the invite list, right?
So exciting. Love this Reservation line thing. Great for getting viral.
So glad I made a reservation weeks ago. Still, there's 234,662 people in front of me.
There were a few "normals" in my office that were definitely turned off by the waiting and then even more turned off that it was only for gmail. They didn't bother. At last count I still have 40k people in front of me and close to 400k behind me. Waiting patiently.
Big numbers, don't worry they are starting slow to prevent this from overloading their servers and having everything go haywire. In the next few days we'll see reservations pushing through much faster. 6,302 here.
We should reopen this thread of comments by June, when someone can use it. 274.900 in front of me.
Holy crap are these numbers real? This "people behind you" ticker is nuts. Congrats guys. Patiently waiting.
How is this with Exchange? Full support?
No Exchange support - Mailbox is Gmail only.
Without Exchange support. this is useless to me. 19,176 anyone want my spot in line?
Any thoughts from people who are using the app?
Been using it today thus far, finding it odd to use while I'm working at my computer (when I really care about interacting with my inbox). I did find it kinda nice to mark the few emails I had in the morning with "Respond Later" and then getting notified later in the morning was pretty helpful.
Good behavioral design there, but I feel that without some sort of desktop companion, the email-as-task-manger falls a bit short...
I read somewhere (maybe twitter?) that when you mark something to remind you later, it actually moves in your inbox and gets brought to the top there as well.
I found this behavior pretty odd - not sure how they could do that in the gmail web interface or say mail.app on desktop. I take it that you haven't seen this behavior?
That would be a big bummer - I use sparrow on desktop and iOS from now and hopes that mailbox could uproot sparrow from my dock but if these reminders aren't reflected in my desktop inbox, then it will not be nearly as useful for me.