Dropbox is doing a bit of spring (er, winter?) cleaning. It's getting rid of two apps: Mailbox and Carousel.
A few years ago, the blogosphere got all excited about Mailbox, an iPhone app that promised to reinvent the way you do email. Developed by Orchestra, the app was totally free, and demand for it was so huge that it had a lengthy reservation list. Then, in 2013, Dropbox bought the buzzy mobile app, making its first move into products outside its core file-sharing service.
One year later, Dropbox introduced another product that automatically backed up and showcased your photos. It was called Carousel. The company described Carousel as "a gallery for all the photos and videos from your life," because it combined the photos in your Dropbox with the photos on smartphone. Carousel launched on Apple's App Store and Google Play free of charge.
Additionally, apart from Carousel, Dropbox unveiled an Android version and Mac desktop beta of the Mailbox email app that it acquired. Since then, the company hasn't discussed either product too much, leading many to think Dropbox was letting them fall by the wayside. Now we know that's exactly the case. Dropbox is shutting both down and called the move a "tough choice".
Here's how Dropbox explained its decision:
"Over the past few months, we’ve increased our team’s focus on collaboration and simplifying the way people work together. In light of that, we’ve made the difficult decision to shut down Carousel and Mailbox... We’ll be taking key features from Carousel back to the place where your photos live—in the Dropbox app. We’ll also be using what we’ve learned from Mailbox to build new ways to communicate and collaborate on Dropbox (you can see early signs of this focus with Paper)."
The teams working on these products have been moved to Dropbox, with Carousel being integrated directly into the main Dropbox app, while the Mailbox team will work on collaborative features in Dropbox Paper. Paper is a Google Docs-like, minimalistic text editor that launched earlier this year (though, to be honest, there hasn't been much hype about it since launch).
The Mailbox team published a blog post to confirm the shutdown and admit “there’s only so much an email app can do to fundamentally fix email". On a FAQ page, the Mailbox crew said the shutdown will take place on 16 February.
Sometime before that date, users will see an option to export their auto-swipe patterns to help recreate them elsewhere, etc.