mailbox for iosIf you happen to follow me on Twitter, you know I’m a huge fan of the Mailbox app. Whenever someone tweets about mail apps, I chime in about Mailbox for iOS. Unfortunately, the latest update to the app has caused me significant embarrassment, enough that I’m considering deleting it.

Here was the innocuous line in the Changelog

With Auto-swipe, Mailbox learns from your swipes and snoozes to automate common actions.

That sounded so innocent and yet turned out to be a major hassle. It all started when a client asked if I had received an email. I said, “No.” Later when I looked back, I saw it in the Trash but assumed it had been my mistake. Then last night something weird happened. I was reading on my Nook HD, and the pop up notification of an email appeared. I finished the page and tapped the notification bar. No email. Huh? Checked the Gmail app. No email. Okay, had I imagined it? I looked in the Trash and there it was.

That led to a further search of the Trash where I found other emails I’d never seen. I finally tracked the problem back to the Mailbox app where I saw an indication “Auto-swiped” or words to that effect on several emails in the Trash. Sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.

The bad part was that I could find no pattern to it. Emails I routinely delete (newsletters) were making it through. Two tips from TeleRead readers weren’t (sorry both of you), including an email from someone who has never contacted me before. Why would Mailbox delete that when there was no history to draw from?

I’ve been sending out lots of “mea culpa” (or more appropriately “Mailbox culpa”) emails this morning, and it’s quite distressing because I’m known for responding promptly to emails. One of my clients schedules me for meetings, and I discovered entire email threads discussing meeting times and time changes. Fortunately, she sends Google Calendar invitations, and my calendar kept up with everything, so I don’t think I’m missing any upcoming meetings.

Yes, you can turn off Auto Swipe, and I’ve done so. Luckily, the update was on the 22nd, and I only had three days of Trash to sift through. I am, however, glad that email came in while I was reading last night. Otherwise, I might still be clueless. I’m not deleting the app yet, but I’ll be considering it carefully for the next few days. There are lots of features I like in the native Gmail app. Until now the convenience of Mailbox tipped the scales, but now I’ll be reconsidering.

I checked the reviews in the iTunes store, and I’m not the only one unhappy with the new update. No one seems to have my problem of deleted emails (or they haven’t noticed yet), but many people are unhappy with the new “sync to Dropbox” feature. Apparently it only works with personal (not business) accounts, and if two people share a Dropbox account and use Mailbox, it causes problems.

Hopefully none of you have had problems since the update, but if you use the app, I highly suggest checking your Trash, just to be sure. And let us know in the comments if the Dropbox issue is affecting you.


  1. I just noticed this was happening to me. I intially assumed i had moved the emails but it was way too many to have been an accident. I was suspicious that it was auto swipe. I habe turned off the feature as well. This is really uncool. This app is an integral part of my workflow and i really don’t want to delete it either but they need to stop breaking it. This isnt the first significant issue i have had with an update.

  2. Yep, got the into trash problem. Turned off auto swipe & now seems ok. Only took me all day to figure out the problem! I’m not even sure what auto swipe is supposed to do anyway. I’m close to “trashing” Mailbox!

    • @Indy, sorry it happened to someone else. I’d hoped they would have fixed that by now. I’m using Inbox for Gmail now and loving it. It has many of the same ease of use features of Mailbox but fewer hassles.

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