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Show HN: I miss Google Inbox and built a replacement (darwinmail.app)
40 points by DarwinMailApp 70 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 18 comments

Hello HN I’m Joey, the maker of DarwinMail [1].

DarwinMail enhances Gmail to get your Google Inbox features back.

Features - bundles, snoozing, reminders, dark mode, bulk actions, undo send, custom backgrounds, templates, & much more.

Darwin Mail will evolve to become great over time, thanks to its users, and thanks to you [2].

I would love to answer any questions you have!

PS: Would you like 20% off the yearly plan? [3]

[1] https://www.darwinmail.app [2] https://www.darwinmail.app/roadmap.php [3] https://www.darwinmail.app/mail/index.php?promotion=true

> Features - bundles, snoozing, reminders, dark mode, bulk actions, undo send, custom backgrounds, templates, & much more.

Some of Inbox's features you have mentioned are available in Gmail now.

I use fastmail instead of gmail, but would love to be able to use inbox features. Maybe you can support other email providers as well?

Hey there!

I am really sorry if you cannot use DarwinMail right now. I'm currently building out features that users have requested and keeping the bugs to a minimum.

Adding more clients is high on my todo list though as I don't want anyone to be left out :)

Already submitted as Show HN 3 months ago:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19705440 (218 points/222 comments)

Hello, The post from 3 months ago was for the launch. For months and months before the launch I was working hard on DarwinMail.

I received so so much helpful feedback and support on launch day... I was simply blown away.

Since the launch, I have been improving DarwinMail and implementing new features that have been requested.

Early morning, after hours, weekends and during dinner time is when I work on DarwinMail and I love doing so. One of the main features requested since the launch was bundles and I only recently added that feature to DarwinMail.

Please, allow me to receive the same kind of valuable feedback I once received. It was wonderful to hear so many valuable thoughts and I would be over the moon if it happened again.

Your mistake was in using the same title and presenting this as a fresh Show HN. Three months is not long, especially when the original thread got major attention, as yours did. People routinely try to milk this cow too frequently, and users really don't like it.

If you read the Show HN guidelines you'll notice that they say: "New features and upgrades ("Foo 1.3.1 is out") generally aren't substantive enough to be Show HNs. A major overhaul is probably ok." If there really has been a major overhaul, you should explain in detail what is new, and link to the previous discussion.


HN's FAQ also says that once a story has had significant attention, we mark reposts as dupes after about a year.


Hello Dang,

Thank you so much for taking the time to clarify this.

I would like to explain in detail what has been changes have been made in DarwinMail since the previous discussion [1]

Browser Support - For several desktop and mobile browsers, DarwinMail was not loading. This was because many of the code level functions being used were not compatible with all major browsers. This required a significant overhaul of the existing codebase, removing all of the logic that was not incompatible with some browsers and finding new ways to accomplish the same actions in our codebase.

Bundles - Bundles were the most requested feature since the beginning of DarwinMail. As such, I spend a substantial amount of time designing how bundles would work for DarwinMail. After several failed attempts I finally found a way to replicate the bundling behavior that was once in Google Inbox into DarwinMail. I have also added the system bundles Social, Updates, Forums, Promotions.

Website Redesign - Mobile apps were the second most requested addition to the DarwinMail toolset. However, this request was in no way taken lightly. DarwinMail had previously been designed for desktop. A redesign of the entire website was needed to allow the user to operate on mobile. Every view, modal, menu, email, heading and more had to be redesigned to fit on mobile as it was previously broken and largely incompatible on mobile.

Progressive Web App - Furthermore, DarwinMail was converted into a progressive web app. This required over 30 steps (many complex and time consuming) to be completed in order to satisfy the requirements specified here: https://developers.google.com/web/progressive-web-apps/check...

Speed Enhancements - DarwinMail was terribly slow and oftentimes inoperable when it was launched. As a result, many changes had to be made in order to create a smooth experience for users. JS & CSS files needed to be cached & minified. All external scripts needed to be stored locally & minified or used via a CDN. Many exhaustive blocks of the logic needed to be cut down to reduce page execution times. Page load speeds were increased by cutting down image sizes and resolutions.

Server Improvements & Security - Much work was needed to be done to our server in order to ensure the security of the website. There was a lot of user input sanitization carried out on all forms of user input. Countless mods were researched for our server and several were added to our server. The server was also upgraded. This required substantial work as much of DarwinMails underlying infrastructure broke after the upgrade.

Largescale Code Changes - A large amount of DarwinMails code was developed in a rush to create a product that users would like to use. As a result, a code cleanup & change overhaul was needed to move forward. Thousands of lines of code needed to be changed in order to facilitate this move forward.

Referral System - A referral system was developed so that users can earn a fee for any friends they referred. This referral system required countless paper prototypes and redesigns.

User Testing & Bug Fixing - There have been hundreds of bug fixes in the last three months. This is largely due to the generous feedback received from our users. Bug fixes for all manner of issues have been completed such as broken nav bars, emails not appearing properly, menus not working, signatures not loading, broken modals, etc.

Keyboard Shortcuts - DarwinMails keyboard shortcuts were mapped to work the same way Gmails keyboard shortcuts work. This required substantial investigation to ensure a 1:1 mapping.

Swipe Functionality - In order for users to achive increased levels of productivity while dealing with their emails, swipe functionality was added to DarwinMail. This allows users to swipe left or right to carry out actions such as pinning, starring and deleting their emails.

Bulk Actions - There is nothing worse than having to deal with a block of emails one by one, so one of the major features developed for DarwinMail was bulk actions. This allows a user to apply an action such as archiving, deleting, starring or pinning on a large group of emails in one click.

I strongly believe DarwinMail has been vastly changed since the initial launch [1]. I have made many changes, serious bug fixes, website upgrades, huge code changes, redesigns and implemented numerous features.

The above is the result of many late nights, early hours before work and weekend coding sessions. In fact, my girlfriend almost broke up with me I spent so much time coding DarwinMail.

I hope the above are detail enough to warrant this new post.

Please let me know if you have any questions as it will be my pleasure to answer them.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19705440

Could be better to detail changes since then in a blog post, then share that.

I used Inbox very heavily when it came out and loved it, but then I moved away from GMail in my attempt to de-google as much as possible. I now use the Spark[1] mail client. Its good, not amazing, but good.

This looks nice, but of course being tied to gmail means I can't use it.

[1] https://sparkmailapp.com/

Kudos to OP for replying to every comment with the type of unbridled innocent optimism that is devoid from most marketing materials. I'm not sure I can use this until it gains a companion mobile app; but I'm glad someone is working in the space and that they happen to be very, very kind.

Awhhh you are so kind!!

It truly warms my heart to hear such positive feedback, and personal feedback even!

I really appreciate it. And I am smiling from ear to ear.

The mobile apps are perhaps the most requested add on! I'm currently building out our features as requested by users and ironing out the bugs.

I hope to convert the web app into mobile apps / create native apps very very soon.

Thanks again :)

Unfortunately, does not work with third party cookies disabled.

Hello and thank you for your feedback.

I am really terribly sorry for any trouble this has caused.

DarwinMail currently uses a cookie for your email address once you have authenticated with it.

I am however in the process of removing this cookie and using local storage instead :)

If you have any issues enabling third party cookies, I have created a guide for every major browser in the FAQ section of our homepage :)

I've been using the web for probably 10 years without 3rd party cookies enabled and I'm not about to start now.

It's good that you're getting rid of that dependency. It's usually only few crummy web shops and flight/hotel booking that have issues working without a secondary insecure browser.

https://simpl.fyi/ that's enough for me

Love Darwin Mail!!!

Thank you so so much, Daniel.

Your kind words mean the world to me. It's such an amazing feeling to receive positive feedback on something you built from the ground up.

I will continue to make improvements to DarwinMail each and every day.

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