Dropbox today announced that it’s shutting down the Mailbox email client and the Carousel photo app. Dropbox picked up the former through an acquisition in 2013.
Both the products have gone without active development for several months, and users have wondered about the state of them inside of Dropbox as the company moves to pick up more and more revenue. (The newly launched Dropbox Enterprise service tier is proof positive of this attention to revenue.) Now it’s official that the products are going away, so the company can focus on its main business — cloud file sync and share.
“Dropbox is shutting down Mailbox in February 26th, 2016, and Carousel in March 31, 2016,” Dropbox cofounders Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi wrote in a blog post today.
The Dropbox cofounders offered an apology to users in the blog post announcing the news. For Mailbox, there are guides and export tools for moving away from the email client. (See also the FAQ page, which suggests the iOS Mail app, Gmail, Inbox by Gmail, and Outlook as possible alternatives.)
And hey, at least this experience helped the Carousel team learn about the way people like to use photos.
“[O]ver the past year and a half, we’ve learned the vast majority of our users prefer the convenience and simplicity of interacting with their photos directly inside of Dropbox,” the team wrote in the blog post about Carousel being closed down.
Some Carousel functionality will be built into the core Dropbox app. And photos in users’ Carousel timelines will stay inside of Dropbox. (But hidden photos in Carousel will not get their own dedicated place in the Dropbox app.) An export tool will be coming out next year, the Carousel team wrote.
Dropbox could have chosen to open-source the code behind the Mailbox and Carousel apps, as it did with Zulip, a group chat app it acquired last year, and Hackpad, a collaborative note-taking app. But that’s not what’s happening today.
“We gave a lot of thought to open-sourcing the underlying system,” the Mailbox FAQ page says, “but this is ultimately not something we will support.”