Dropbox to shutter Mailbox email and Carousel photo apps

7 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Dropbox Is Killing Mailbox and Carousel.

Mailbox, an email app for smartphones, will shut down in February and Carousel, an app for storing and sharing photos, will close at the end of March, Dropbox said in blog posts on Monday.In an effort to get its business back on track, Dropbox will be shuttering two promising, yet unfulfilled ventures beyond its core cloud-storage service.SAN FRANCISCO — Facing growing competitive pressures, Dropbox has dumped two of its flagship products: email service Mailbox and photo-sharing service Carousel. “Building new products is about learning as much as it’s about making.

Dropbox, the file hosting and cloud storage company with 400 million users, has been struggling to hold up its $10 billion valuation in the face of scrutiny from investors and observers, and now it looks like the other shoe is dropping as the company streamlines its business. It’s also about tough choices,” CEO Drew Houston and CTO Arash Ferdowsi wrote in a blog post. “Over the past few months, we’ve increased our team’s focus on collaboration and simplifying the way people work together.” Dropbox acquired the popular Mailbox in March 2013 in hopes of bettering mobile email.

The two apps had been part of Dropbox’s push to offer new types of services beyond online storage, a business fast becoming commoditized due to competing offerings from tech giants including Apple Inc., Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. In light of that, we’ve made the difficult decision to shut down Carousel and Mailbox.” At the time, Dropbox was looking to give people new reasons to use its cloud-based storage and collaboration service as it faced rising competitive pressures from Google and Microsoft as well as rival Box. Sources tell us the plan will be to focus on its core product and developing other new productivity tools, such as its still-private collaboration app, Paper.

Mailbox, acquired by Dropbox in 2013, and Carousel, released last year, were intended to be part of a “family of apps” aimed at getting users to rely on the service for more aspects of their daily lives, Chief Executive Dew Houston said at an event in April 2014. Dropbox said Carousel and an expanded rollout of its Mailbox app were just the beginning of Dropbox launching a new wave of independent apps to help users save on time and frustration.

The reason for the month extension on Carousel is because a couple of features from it will be migrated to Dropbox itself: a disc space saving feature and shared albums. The company promised to communicate more details with users directly over the coming days; it has also published guides and export tools to make the transition easier. More from WSJ.D: And make sure to visit WSJ.D for all of our news, personal tech coverage, analysis and more, and add our XML feed to your favorite reader.

The app is often credited for introducing gesture-based controls to email, allowing you to organize messages by swiping right or left, a design that has been imitated by dozens of email apps since. I understand how frustrating it can be when you aren’t able to receive updates about a product that you feel passionate about using,” said a note sent this morning to a reader. “Mailbox hasn’t been abandoned. The nice gloss is that it appears Dropbox is redoubling its efforts on the central Dropbox experience, which to my eyes has been lacking in positive developments recently. The best Carousel features will make it back to the core app, and the company says it will take what it’s learned from Mailbox to make communication features down the line. If there is anything else I can help you with please let me know.” Mailbox had not been updated since July, and if you dig through Dropbox’s support forums, a lot of questions from frustrated users were going unanswered.

Surely some users will be sad to see these standalone tools go, but if it means a more buttoned up Dropbox in the future, then may ye go with god unfortunate apps. Carousel actually had an update a bit more recently, in September, but essentially saw very little development soon after its initial release in 2014. Dropbox started life as a place to store and access files in the cloud, but for years now it has been looking for traction around other services to grow usage — and paying users — on its platform, whose business model is based on offering free storage tiers and upselling people to pay for more space. Mailbox co-founder Gentry Underwood has already left Dropbox and Scott Cannon, the other co-founder, is staying on as an advisor for a short period of time.

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