Runbox 7 heralds the beginning of a whole new web app experience for Runbox customers, and paves the way for future developments that include a dedicated mobile device app.
The Runbox 7 Webmail runs as an app in your browser and uses an account index stored on your device to provide message listing and search features. This makes Runbox 7 extremely fast in most browsers.
- Message listing
- Synchronized account index
- Mobile app
- Inbox updating
- Preview Pane
- Draft Desk
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Which browsers are supported by Runbox 7?
- Does searching work without the local index?
- Does the client need to download entire messages when adding to the search index?
- What about low bandwidth clients, will they need to download all messages for indexing?
- But what if the client doesn’t have any cached search index?
- But I need to search more than the 1000 recent messages
- How big is the search index?
- But I don’t want to download 20 MB – since I’m on a ship using satellite 2G at the cost of USD 100 per MB
- What if I don’t have 20 MB of free space?
- Does the new app work offline?
- What about reading messages offline?
- Does the new app require more bandwidth than the current Webmail?
- I’m using a public PC and I don’t want a search index left on that device.
- Where is the search index stored on my device?
- Is it safe to store the search index locally?
An often requested feature is also included in that the folders, message list and preview pane all scroll independently. You can also hide the folder list if you want more horizontal space for your messages.
To save space, the webmail menu pops up when you need it to — just select one or more messages, and the menu will be displayed to the right of the message list. New incoming messages will be shown in the list automatically without any need for clicking buttons.
When you click on a message it is fetched from the server and shown in the preview pane, which can be displayed vertically or horizontally.
Message list options
You can group incoming and outgoing messages according to their subject line in a message thread. To activate this feature choose the “Threaded” option available at the top right of the page. Note that this feature requires synchronization of the account index (see below).
This option shows unread messages only.
To select messages in the message list, click on the check box to the left. You can then use the message action buttons at the top of the message list, which are respectively:
- Move to Folder
- Move to Trash
- Mark as unread
- Mark as read
- Mark as flagged
- Mark as unflagged
- Report as spam
If you need to select more than one message click and drag the mouse over the radio buttons of the messages needed.
Multiple selections can also be made by selecting a single or group of messages and then releasing the mouse and then clicking and dragging on other messages as needed.
You can also select all messages that are visible on the page, or all messages in the list whether they are visible or not, by clicking and holding the Check All check box to the top left of the list.
Not only is this fast due to the synchronized account index (see below), but as the search matches are shown as you type you will often find you see the message you need long before you have types your full search terms. This means you spend less time searching for messages, and you will also learn what sort of search terms yield the fastest results for the kind of searches you do.
You can combine search terms using the Boolean search operators AND and OR, and you can specify which field to match by using for instance from:superman or subject:Earth.
To limit the search to a folder, use e.g. folder:Inbox, noting that the folder name is case sensitive. To search in a sub folder, use the notation folder:Folder.Subfolder.
By clicking the wrench icon to the right of the search field, a number of additional search options appear:
These fields can be used individually or in combination.
Note that the “Unread only” search option can only be used in combination with other search parameters. To view all unread messages, see the section “Unread only” above.
Search criteria can be combined with dates, months, years, or ranges of these.
Some examples include:
date:2023All messages in 2023
date:202310All messages in October 2023
date:20231001All messages on October 1, 2023
date:2022..2023All messages from 2022 to (and including) 2023
date:20231001..202311All messages from October 1, 2023 to (and including) November 2023
Synchronized account index
An account email index is pre-generated on the server and synchronized with your device when you first log in to your account. This provides an optimal and extremely fast webmail experience when navigating and searching your email.
Account synchronization is available for all devices using a web browser, and on mobile devices a Progressive Web App can be downloaded and installed for an improved experience.
If you choose not to allow the index to be downloaded for some reason then you will be served the messages from the central database and a server account index, which is less efficient.
The account index is compact and doesn’t amount to anywhere near the size of your actual message content on the server. For example, we’ve seen account indices for a 6 GB account be less than 100 MB in size, and yet full search is available on the entire contents of the account.
To stop index synchronization and delete the account index from your device, click “Stop index synchronization” at the bottom of the folder pane.
If you previously selected to not synchronize the account index with your device, you can click “Synchronize index” at the bottom of the folder pane.
The Runbox 7 app is 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.
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.
Runbox 7 brings a feature that has often been requested; auto updating of the Inbox for when new messages arrive. From now on the Inbox will update to show the current state of your messages including any new ones.
Runbox 7 introduces a preview pane so that you don’t actually have to move from your message list to read or preview a message.
Clicking on a message will open a preview of that message, and you can then choose whether to view the message on the right-hand side or below the message list.
If you need to see the message in full just click on the “Full height” button in horizontal preview mode.
The new Draft Desk shows your draft messages as “tiles’ that show a preview of the message content. You can easily find the message you want to continue working on and then open it to add more content.
Recipient addresses are auto-completed as you type in the recipient fields, based on the email addresses found in the index for your account. Integration with Contacts is part of a later phase of the Runbox 7 development plan.
The new Compose screen supports inline uploaded images. To insert an image from your device, first check the HTML box to switch to HTML editor mode (unless you have already done so). Then upload the image by dragging it onto the Compose area just above where you enter the text of your message. The interface will change and invite you to drop the image in that area. Then click the Insert/Edit image button in the toolbar, and select the image from the Image List drop-down.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which browsers are supported by Runbox 7?
All major browsers are supported, including Firefox, Edge, Safari, Chrome, and Opera.
Internet Explorer is not supported because it does not support the technology used in Runbox 7, and has been discontinued by Microsoft in favor of Edge.
Does searching work without the local index?
Yes, the search feature will revert to using the message index on the server if there isn’t a local index, but it will be somewhat slower.
Does the client need to download entire messages when adding to the search index?
No – it only needs the relevant headers (from, to, subject, date etc) and the terms from the message content. Currently the text/plain part is transferred, but this can be reduced to terms only.
What about low bandwidth clients, will they need to download all messages for indexing?
No – the search index is cached on the client, so only new messages headers and terms will have to be downloaded.
But what if the client doesn’t have any cached search index?
If an index for your account for some reason isn’t available on the server, the client will by default create an index for the most recent 1000 messages.
But I need to search more than the 1000 recent messages
The client will offer an option to download relevant headers and terms for the entire or partial mail history. The size of this will be very similar to a pre-built index on the server.
How big is the search index?
The index is quite small compared to the actual messages in your account, and usually less than 10% of your total email storage space. That means 15-20MB for an account with 1 GB email.
But I don’t want to download 20 MB – since I’m on a ship using satellite 2G at the cost of USD 100 per MB
Oh my – why didn’t you plan this before boarding the ship? If you downloaded the index in advance, you could even search your email without having to be connected to that expensive net. OK — if you really need to search email from 5 years ago on the ship we do offer a fallback to sending a query to the server. Just choose not to synchronize the server index with your device, and you can still search all your email but it will be a bit slower.
What if I don’t have 20 MB of free space?
Then you probably want to stick to the server-fallback as mentioned for the satellite 2G case.
Does the new app work offline?
Yes, the local search index does not require an internet connection, so you can search your email without being online.
What about reading messages offline?
We may offer an option to cache some messages to be available for reading offline.
Does the new app require more bandwidth than the current Webmail?
I’m using a public PC and I don’t want a search index left on that device.
You should use a “Private browsing” mode when using public PCs, which prevents the index (and other data) from being stored on the local disk. If you forget to do so, just hit the “Remove local search index” button at the bottom of the folder pane, and it’s all gone from your device.
Where is the search index stored on my device?
The search index is stored as a persistent database in the browser’s IndexedDB location, which works as a normal filesystem unlike the browser’s cache. By using this database, the Runbox 7 Webmail app can re-use the index without having to download or generate it on each session.
The location of IndexedDB depends on the browser you are using, but it is not part of the browser’s regular cache. Therefore it is not deleted when the browser’s cache is emptied — if you wish to delete the local index, click the “Stop index synchronization” button at the bottom of the folder pane.
For instance, in Firefox on a Windows platform, the location would be:
C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application
Is it safe to store the search index locally?
Whenever you visit a website, your browser will cache data locally unless it’s in “Private browsing” mode. The search index is stored outside of the browser’s cache, but inside the directory that contains the application data for the current user profile.
When using a personal computer, you may choose to encrypt your data storage which will protect any locally stored data.
If you are using a public access computer, the cache and other downloaded data is removed when you log out of the session (which you should always do). You can click the “Remove local search index” button at the bottom of the folder pane before logging out of Runbox 7 to ensure that the search index is deleted.