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 feature is Tasks (TODOs) support – this 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 very excited to announce that we are now making the Runbox 7 App available as open source software!
Runbox 7 is our new Webmail service currently in open beta, featuring unprecedented email indexing and search capabilities. It’s the first product whose source code we are making publicly available, and marks a major milestone for Runbox.
Open source software powers most of the Internet, and makes up a large part of the platform Runbox is running on. Now Runbox 7 will become part of this global collaboration, and you can join in by visiting the Runbox repository on Github: https://github.com/runbox.
Why we are going open source
Runbox has utilized and promoted open source software since the very beginning, and we owe much of our success to the open source community.
Now we’re contributing back to the community with the front-end of Runbox 7, which will allow others to review our code and verify that it’s safe and secure.
It also allows others to copy and modify the codebase for their own use, and contribute back to Runbox and our community.
Additionally it means that we will automatically publish the Runbox 7 changelog and issues, and even let Runbox users create issues for bug reports or feature requests.
Why we chose GPLv3
It was important to Runbox that we ensure that any derivative work remains open source, which the GNU General Public License does.
Another reason for selecting the GPLv3 license is that Runbox 7 utilizes the open source Xapian search engine library which is licensed under GPLv2.
What’s new in Runbox 7
Runbox 7 isn’t merely an upgrade to our existing services, it’s a bold step into a new world of synchronized Webmail apps that provide unprecedented speed and usability.
Our new app is the cornerstone of Runbox 7, and is the first of several development stages that will culminate in a completely new user interface.
Runbox 7 Webmail currently features superior speed, incremental search, infinite listing, inline message previews, threaded conversation views, web push notifications, and a Progressive Web App for mobile phones.
Contributing to Runbox 7
In the future we plan to publish the entire Runbox 7 codebase including the backend, but you can already develop the Runbox 7 App while using the Runbox servers as the backend.
We are excited to announce that the Runbox 7 Webmail beta test is now open to the public!
A large number of improvements and bug fixes have been made since our previous update, including an even faster Webmail, web push notifications on incoming email, and inline message previews.
There is now a Runbox 7 mobile app (Progressive Web App) available too, making Runbox a joy to use on your mobile phone!
We’d like to thank the hundreds of beta testers in our beta test community for all their contributions thus far, and helping us build the fastest webmail app on the planet!
What Runbox 7 Webmail is…
Runbox 7 isn’t merely an upgrade to our existing services, its a bold step into a new world of synchronized Webmail apps that provides unprecedented speed and usability.
Our new app is the cornerstone of Runbox 7, and is the first of several development stages that will culminate in a completely new user interface.
Runbox 7 Webmail features superior speed, incremental search, infinite listing, message previews, threaded views, a draft desk, as well as a mobile app version.
…and what it isn’t (just yet)
Note that we are initially focusing on the core Webmail service, and that the Runbox 7 Webmail therefore currently only includes this service.
Other areas such as Manager, Files, etc. will be added as we continue working on Runbox 7, so clicking on these menu items in Runbox 7 will currently take you back to Runbox 6.
Runbox 7 roadmap
We have an ambitious plan for the development of Runbox 7, with the following planned activities:
Open beta test phase
Open source Runbox 7 App
Profiles and Contacts integration
Files, Manager, and Settings
How to provide feedback
Our Runbox 7 team is working hard to make Runbox 7 the best webmail app on the planet, and your feedback will help decide what we develop next.
Tell us what you think about Runbox 7 Webmail in our dedicated forum at https://community.runbox.com/. Sign up to the forum using your Runbox email address so that there will be no issues gaining access to the forum.
Note that before you post requests or bug reports, it’s a good idea to review other posts to see if your issue has already been mentioned.
With that out of the way, please find the Runbox 7 Webmail app here:
We hope you’ll enjoy a modern, user-friendly, beautiful, and above all fast webmail experience!
Check out the screenshots below for a few highlights, and click on each one to bring up a hi-res version with more details.
Message list view
When you first log in to Runbox 7 Webmail you will find a beautiful interface with a design that is clean and efficient, yet packed with features. Its speed can’t be conveyed by a screenshot however, so try it out for yourself to get the real experience.
Two- or three-pane message preview
You can preview messages either in a horizontal pane beneath the message list, or to the right of the message list as shown below.
The Draft Desk shows your current drafts in a convenient desk-like layout.
Ready for a test drive?
Just head to https://runbox.com/app and then join our community at community.runbox.com to take part in the Runbox revolution!
We are making great progress with the Runbox 7 Webmail app and we are very excited that a version customized for mobile phones is now available for our beta testers!
This version is what is called a Progressive Web App (PWA), built on emerging technologies that combine the open standards of the web to provide a rich mobile experience on your phone or tablet.
How do I use the mobile app?
If you’re using an Apple device you can access the mobile app by first opening the regular address of the Runbox 7 Webmail app in the Safari browser, and then tapping the Share icon in the bottom menu bar. Then tap “Add to Home Screen” to add the Runbox 7 Webmail app to your phone.
On Android, you should get a prompt to download the app as soon as you go to the regular address of the Runbox 7 Webmail app in the browser.
You can now use the Runbox 7 Webmail app just by tapping on the Runbox 7 icon!
Join the beta test!
And if you haven’t yet joined our Runbox 7 Webmail beta test, just contact email@example.com with the subject “Runbox 7 Webmail beta test”.
You will then gain access to the Runbox 7 Community with a discussion forum dedicated to the Runbox 7 Webmail app.
There you’ll meet Runbox staff and developers as well as fellow beta testers, and be able to influence the development of Runbox 7.
Runbox 7 mobile app screenshots
Here are a few screenshots of what the app looks like on Apple iPhone 6.
Landscape view of message list
Landscape view of message list with main menu pullout
The Runbox 7 Webmail beta test is progressing quickly and the new webmail app has been updated with many new features since our previous blog post. If you are an existing beta tester and haven’t checked in for a while, we encourage you to do so now!
If you haven’t joined the beta test it’s still possible to participate — just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Runbox 7 Webmail beta test”.
Aside from many improvements to the speed and smoothness of the core functionality, the following features have been added or improved:
Drag and drop of messages
HTML message handling
Resizable folder pane
Resizable message preview pane
Both horizontal and vertical (3-pane) message preview pane
Mobile phone screen improvements
Automatic and manual adjustment of message list width
Support for sending inline images
Buttons for read/unread, flag/unflag, and report spam/not spam
Print version of messages
Show folder column in search results
Show read and flagged status in message list
Pre-load and cache messages in message list view for faster access
New font face and message layout
We are working hard to improve the Runbox 7 Webmail further, and appreciate your help in making it the fastest webmail app on the planet!
Check out the screenshots below to see some of the new features.
New look and new font face
The webmail has been updated with more colors and a new font face for improved legibility.
2- or 3-pane message preview
You can now preview messages either in a horizontal pane beneath the message list, or to the right of the message list as shown below.
Toggle horizontal/vertical message preview pane
Easily switch between horizontal (2-pane) and vertical (3-pane) message preview with these buttons in the message toolbar.
There is now a fully featured message toolbar including Reply, Reply all, Forward, Move to folder, Mark read, Mark flagged, Report as spam, and Move to Trash.
On the right hand side you will find message view buttons such as Print, Vertical/Horizontal preview, Full height, and Close.
Adjust message list columns
You can now easily adjust both the folder pane width and the message list column widths by using the sliders as shown.
Otherwise the webmail will automatically adjust the column widths to show as much content as possible.
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 email@example.com with the subject “Runbox 7 Webmail beta test”. If you are selected to participate, we will then be in touch with further details.