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I’m confused

iOS app

iOS App not in App Store in Canada? I just moved to Canada and the iOS app in my iPad and my iPhone stopped connecting with my gmail account. The gmail version is working just fine. I tried deleting the app on my iPhone and am not able to find the app in the AppStore now. I am using iOS 12.4 on my devices. Is the move to Canada the issue or is something else possibly going on?
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  • Andy Mitchell (CEO - ActiveInbox Founder) September 10, 2019 18:21
    Hi Juan,

    I've just checked, and I'm really sorry I missed you out of our discussion about this (I'd been in discussion with the 1200 people who I believed were using mobile, but somehow missed you out - we don't actually track who is using the mobile app, so I could only guess from who received push notifications).

    I'll bring you up to speed...

    == What's the summary? ==

    The very very short version is that, with input from the community, I've decided to temporarily shutdown ActiveInbox Mobile, hopefully just until early 2020.

    In the survey, I heard that while most people want to use ActiveInbox Mobile, it wasn't good enough. Virtually no one was using it as their main email client. We need to invest significant development time to upgrade it.

    It's a bit of a sad tale, because I was so excited to launch ActiveInbox Mobile back in 2016. It was our first proper app, I got to work with some amazingly developers and a designer to build it, and we even took a significant bank loan to make it happen. But in the last three years, I feel it's fallen behind Gmail's own app, which has become really polished (it's part of the peril of being a small team vs. the a multi-billion dollar behemoth!). I still feel our mobile app is great, but I admit it isn't perfect, and I can't in all good faith recommend it over Gmail's own app.

    Sadly, our resources for upgrading it are limited at the moment. We've spent the last 1.5 years being forced to first rewrite ActiveInbox to work with new GMail, and then to rewrite it again to become "security first" app (we've always had good security, as we made a decision to not store much of your data on our servers, but from 2015-2019 data hacks around the internet have been increasing dramatically, and now we have to be aggressively security focused to protect you. We now keep none of your Gmail data on our servers, which is a major milestone!).

    In addition having limited funds to invest on the upgrade right now, we calculated that if we kept ActiveInbox Mobile going, to complete our security overhaul, we'd have to pay $15,000-$75,000 per year to Google to audit our servers, starting this month. Given so few people are using it, that would barely be possible and might have put all of ActiveInbox in financial jeopardy.

    So, by temporarily closing the app, I can put us on a simple, stable path to give 100% focus to each milestone (rather than spreading ourselves too thin and not doing anything perfectly):

    1. Finish the ActiveInbox desktop security changes, so we can be sure of world class security for your email data.
    2. Roll out the new features we've been prototyping for ActiveInbox for the last year.
    3. Focus on doing mobile "right". I've listened when you said you want it to handle multiple accounts, to pre-download emails (to be as fast as Gmail's own app), to have a cleaner interface, and to fix the bugs.

    == How can I use ActiveInbox on mobile in the mean time? ==

    In case you don't know, every button in ActiveInbox just adds/removes a Gmail Label.

    By default:
    * A due date is in the format ZD/yyyymmdd. So if I add a ZD/20190906 to an email, ActiveInbox will see that as September 6 2019. Similarly, I can view all tasks for September 7 2019 by searching on mobile for label:ZD/20190907.
    * A Waiting On date is the same as a due date, but in the format ZWO/yyyymmdd.
    * Project folders are any that begin with P/. Say you want to create ProjectX on the move, just add the new Gmail Label P/ProjectX to an email.
    * Lists deserve a special mention. They're the ones that start with ! (or for pre-2016 users, possibly S/). E.g. !High Priority, and !Low Priority. (Again, you can add these to any email while on the go; or search label:!High Priority while on the move). But you can create more lists. Some people create GTD style ones (!Next, !Action, !Some Day). Others do Covey Quadrants (!Q1, !Q2).

    The point is that, while it's a little clunky, you can still update and scan your task lists whilst on the move.

    A special mention for adding !Finished. If you do this on mobile, then next time you load ActiveInbox on the desktop, it should automatically finish all those emails (i.e. remove any due date or list on the email).

    The sad thing is you definitely can't do Sub Tasks or Notes on the go after the app shuts down. I can't think of a sensible work around for that :-/

    == A more personal apology ==

    It's been a really tough decision to make, and I know it's hard to hear. I deliberated over it for a long time, I spoke to the community, but ultimately I think we've made the right decision so that eventually mobile comes back "excellent" rather than limping on as "ok for certain things".

    I wish we had infinite cash to throw at it so we didn't need to this, but it isn't our reality. I understand that if mobile is critical to you, you should move on to another app... but I'll still email you when we release the updated ActiveInbox Mobile to see if it's something that appeals to you.
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  • I do agree the app could be a bit clunky and slow, but I had accustomed myself to quickly opening it to drop tasks onto my to do list so that I could get them out of my head. I can adjust my workflow to accommodate the change.

    That said, thank you for the helpful message. It is much appreciated.
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  • I am using AIB on mobile. I connect my Android to a Virtual Machine where I get the full suite of desktop functionality. Works pretty well for me altough a sleek dedicated mobile app would be somewhat better.
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  • I’m frustrated
    Would be great if you'd update the website to reflect this change. I've just spent ages trying to work out what was wrong with my phone that I couldn't download the app - assuming that you wouldn't continue telling people about the app when it wasn't actually available.
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  • What about creating an Addon component which is builtin the gmail app
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