We are extremely pleased to be able to announce that the Runbox 7 Calendar is now in beta test.
You may be aware that Runbox for a while has provided a calendar (CalDAV) service for calendar clients such as Outlook, Thunderbird Lightning, and macOS Calendar.
If you’ve previously used our CalDAV server you’ll be pleased to be able to finally use it through the web interface, not needing a separate program anymore.
The Runbox 7 Calendar currently offers month, week, and day views, you may add and edit events, and perform other basic actions.
It can also be synchronized with your other programs and devices by setting them up with our CalDAV service.
As this is still a Beta, not everything that your own calendar program can do will be available in the Runbox 7 Calendar quite yet. One notable missing features is the Tasks (TODOs) support – these will be coming later on as a separate feature.
We invite you to try it out by logging into Runbox 7 and clicking Calendar in the main menu.
It is our pleasure to announce that the new Runbox 7 Contacts is available in open beta test!
If you’re already using Runbox 7 you may have noticed them already, and if you aren’t — here’s another reason to try it: Runbox 7 Contacts combines the best of the Runbox 7 web interface with the world of email clients.
Modern user interface
The first thing you’ll notice after clicking Contacts in the main menu in Runbox 7 is the beautiful and smooth user interface.
Runbox 7 Contacts is built with the same Angular framework that powers the Runbox 7 Webmail, and you will recognize its design components and interactive functionality.
New Contacts storage (CardDAV)
One of the key parts of the new Contacts is how we store your contacts on the servers. So far they’ve been stored in a proprietary database, with no other way to access them than through the Runbox 6 web interface.
This has been an annoyance to those of you who would like to use your contacts across many different apps and devices.
From now on in the new Runbox 7, all contacts will be stored on a CardDAV server – an open standard for sharing contacts and address books between different devices.
The advantages of Runbox 7 Contacts
If you know what CardDAV is, chances are you were eagerly awaiting this and need no further encouragement to use it. If you’ve never heard of it before, here are two key benefits it has over the existing system
First of all, Runbox 7 uses the standard vCardfor representing the contacts. You may have heard the name before — if you ever sent a contact to someone over an SMS for example, it was a vCard. Using vCards in Runbox 7 Contacts means that much more flexibility when it comes to the information you can store.
vCards in Runbox 7 and CardDAV can store everything Runbox 6 can, and more — as many emails, phones and addresses as you desire, all categorized. Pictures, links to social media accounts, messengers, public keys for encryption; whatever you can think of, it’s probably there.
Second, you can access your Runbox 7 Contacts everywhere. No need to even use the Runbox 7 app — you can use any email client, any contacts app on your computer or your phone, and you’ll have access to the same contacts everywhere.
Add them on your phone, edit them on your laptop, and then they’ll still be available Runbox 7 when you compose a new email. Runbox 7 Contacts contains all the information that you need to set up any other apps that you use.
Using Runbox 7 Contacts
Until you migrate your contacts they will not be available for synchronization yet. Migrating them will move them over to CardDAV and give you all the glorious new features of Runbox 7 Contacts.
Try out the new Runbox 7 Contacts by logging into Runbox 7 and clicking Contacts in the main menu.
When you log into Runbox 7 the first thing you’ll notice — aside from its beautiful design — is the speed.
Your folders and messages will load instantly, and no matter how many messages you have the message list will scroll without delay and without any limit.
Gone are the days of waiting for the next screen-full of messages to load, or having to click to navigate between pages. Switching between folders, sorting the message list, and moving messages — any action you perform is executed instantly.
And the message search is lightning fast — results will show up immediately while you type into the search field. Combined with message threading and inline message previews, this makes email management extremely efficient with Runbox 7.
Under the hood
We have modified Xapian by porting Xapian to WebAssembly using the C to WebAssembly compiler from emscripten, which lets it run both in NodeJS on the server and in the browser. Our fork of Xapian will be merged into Xapian’s repository on Github so that it will become available for others to use.
This is accomplished by utilizing a custom version of the open source Xapian email indexer. We have always been impressed with Xapian’s processing speed, reliability, and adaptability, and it’s ability to index large amounts of messages.
The Xapian database is stored in the browser using IndexedDB, which is available through the IDBFS file system of emscripten.
Combined with a central message database and the use of websockets, this allows the indices to stay in sync when new email arrives on the server and when changes are made locally.
The user interface
The power of the WebAssembly Xapian port is matched by the message listing which is written in HTML5 Canvas. This makes it possible to handle large tables and quick re-rendering, and provides good control of the rendering process.
Ordinary HTML tables would suffer slowdown penalties on sorting, filtering, and resizing, and would require pagination, and would not be efficient enough for our needs.
We are excited to announce the closed beta test phase of Runbox 7 Webmail!
This release is not merely an upgrade to our existing services, it’s a bold step into a new world of Webmail apps that will provide unprecedented speed and usability.
Runbox 7 aims to be the fastest webmail on the planet with:
Instant folder views and search results.
Endless, smooth scrolling of folder contents.
Drag & drop message selection and moving to folders.
Incremental, instant search functionality.
The new webmail will be the cornerstone of Runbox 7, and is the first of several development stages that will culminate in a completely new user interface.
Please read on for details about Runbox 7 Webmail and how you can participate in the closed beta test.
Runbox 7 started with a crazy idea:
How can we create a webmail that’s not just faster, but responds instantly?
The solution we developed is a combination of database accelerated email storage, innovative message indexing, and cutting-edge web technology.
When you log into Runbox 7 Webmail, you enter a modern webmail environment built with Angular 5 and Material Design. Your email folders and messages will be shown instantly, giving you an immediate overview of your email.
The spacious layout, clean lines, and powerful engine lets you efficiently navigate the new features and get down to the business of effectively managing your email.
One of the core features of Runbox 7 Webmail is its search capabilities. We have built the search functionality in such a way that the browser doesn’t need to query the server at all.
Not only that, but this webmail will show you search results incrementally while you are typing in the Search field.
You have better things to do than waiting for search results, so we put a lot of effort into making the search function as fast as possible — and this is as fast as it’s possible to get.
Lots of cool functionality
Infinite listing: No more clicking back and forth to navigate your Inbox — just scroll down and the next messages will load automatically.
Threaded view: Want to see your messages in conversation view? Just tick the Threaded checkbox to the top right.
Unread messages: Only interested in the latest news? Tick the Unread checkbox.
Multi-select messages: Want to select many messages in a hurry? Just click the check box of a message, and drag up or down while holding the mouse button down to select several messages in a row.
Preview pane: Who has time to actually open a message? Just select one in the list and a preview will be shown in the bottom half of the message list pane. To see more, click the ^ arrow in the preview menu.
Hide folders: Want more space for your messages? Just click the icon to the left of the Search area to hide the folder pane.
Another key feature of Runbox 7 Webmail is the Draft Desk — a completely new way of managing drafts.
In our world of non-stop online communication, we often find ourselves multitasking and working on several threads in parallel. With our new Draft Desk you get a full overview of the messages you are currently working on, previewed side by side in an efficient interface.
Simply click on a draft preview to expand it, write down your thoughts, and send, save, or close the message to return to it later.
We believe that you shouldn’t have to switch between different apps or user interfaces just because you switch between a laptop, a tablet, or a smart phone.
Therefore we built Runbox 7 Webmail to be mobile-ready and responsive from the ground up. This means that it will automatically adapt to your device’s screen size and orientation while retaining the basic functionality you are used to from a regular browser.
Join the closed beta test
To join the closed beta test of Runbox 7 Webmail, contact firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Runbox 7 Webmail beta test”. If you are selected to participate, we will then be in touch with further details.
There has been some discussion about our recent modification in Runbox 6 to place signatures at the bottom of replies and forwarded messages instead of above them. Some people prefer top-posting, while others adhere to the more traditional bottom-posting style.
So… We’ve now added an option to choose whether your signature should appear above or below quoted text! You will find the new option under Signature in Preferences.
In Webmail > Compose (Runbox 6 only) you now have the option to save the recipients of a message in Contacts.
This option is found next to the Send button, and if checked, it will add any recipients to Contacts that aren’t already listed there. The new contacts will be saved in a separate Group called “Auto-saved” to make it easier to find them in Contacts.
The next time you compose a message, the saved recipients will show up in the Groups and Contacts list to the right. They will also appear as suggested matches when you start typing in the recipient fields.
To protect your Runbox account, and any other online account you may have, it’s crucial to choose a good password. Your password needs to be unique enough to prevent others from guessing it or computers from cracking it.
This is becoming increasingly important since attackers can use powerful password cracking software and attacks are happening more often.
We see that many users choose passwords that are too simple, perhaps thinking that no one will try to gain access to their account, or that they don’t have anything to hide anyway.
The importance of strong passwords
However, if someone did gain access to your account unauthorized they could potentially use the contents to break into other accounts you may have, since email often contains login information to other services.
An intruder could also hijack an account in order to send large amounts of spam, which would hurt not only the recipients of the messages, but also the account owner (due to returned, undeliverable messages). Furthermore, it could negatively impact Runbox as a whole, since it could get our service blocked by other email services.
Creating a good password
In Runbox 6, you can create a longer and more complex password using many different special characters.
Your password must be between 6 and 64 characters long, and can contain the letters a-z and A-Z, the numbers 0-9, and the following special characters:
We know, creating and remembering a long and complex password sounds like a big hassle. But it’s actually very simple, and could even be fun!
Over the past year and a half we have spent a great deal of time behind the scenes upgrading the Runbox Webmail code. We have also upgraded all the underlying software that powers Runbox, and much of the hardware it runs on.
The Runbox 6 platform
This is the 6th generation of Runbox, and while it may appear similar to Runbox 5 it provides a solid and updated platform for further development of new features. In addition, we have created a software building and deployment system that will enable us to develop new code faster and more securely.
We have already put some new features into Runbox 6 — some minor ones you will discover as you use it, and a few bigger ones:
New Features in Runbox 6
1. Tags: These let you label messages across folders, and will allow you to organize and find messages more easily. To add a tag, open an email, select [New Tag] from the Tags field near the top, enter a tag name, and click “Add tag”. You can now sort messages by your tags in the message list.
2. Improved Account overview: You can now get a full overview of your account’s Data Usage on the Account screen.
3. Sub-account management: You will now be able to manage any sub-accounts you might have in a similar way to the main account and also see detailed information about the usage of the account. Just click the sub-account address in the list after going to Sub-accounts. Note: Sub-account owners can now change the passwords of their sub-accounts and therefore potentially access them.
4. Color themes: You can now choose between 4 color themes by going to Webmail: Preferences and selecting an option from the “Theme” menu. We have also removed they gray background color from all pages to brighten things up a bit.