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Dropbox buys Mailbox, hints at email and cloud goodies

Dropbox will add some new features, now it's gobbled up the hottest email app in town.

Cloud storage service Dropbox is spreading its wings and buying Mailbox, a popular email app that's only been around about a month. In its short life, Mailbox has been heaped with praise for its features, which include the ability to time-delay emails to be sent later, push notification, and simple deleting of missives.

So what's the plan, Stan? Dropbox CEO Drew Houston said that Mailbox will carry on as a standalone app, but that Dropbox will enhance its features based on Mailbox's technology. Expect email attachments a-gogo.

Indeed, the deal came together when the two companies started discussing email attachments.

"We felt we could help Mailbox reach a much different audience much faster," Houston told the Wall Street Journal.

Mailbox is also thought to be extending to non-Gmail providers in the future, and to be hooking up to Dropbox's cloud storage.

Dropbox has been on the rise of late. It now has more than 100 million users, and is valued at $4bn (£2.6bn) by investors. (Of course these valuations can go awry, as Facebook has shown, but still, it's impressive.) It's also grown to 250 employees, which is up from 100 at this time last year.

Mailbox is no slouch either. Though it only launched a month ago, the service is delivering 60 million messages a day, and has another 1.3 million people queuing up to use it. Gentry Underwood, CEO of parent company Orchestra, said, "We are struggling to keep up with the demand from those who want to use it."

Word is Apple head honcho Steve Jobs wanted to acquire Dropbox, but when it spurned his advances he slated the service in a talk at the launch of iCloud, Apple's rival cloud-storage system.

What do you think of Dropbox? Are there better services out there? And how should Mailbox's tech improve it? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.