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Email apps are double-edged swords. They can be extremely convenient, especially if your job involves timely email communications on a day-to-day basis. But they can also contribute to tech-induced depression 5 Ways Technology Might Be Feeding Your Depression 5 Ways Technology Might Be Feeding Your Depression Technology can worsen depression. With tech enveloping our lives, we should be more aware of technology's potential impact on us. There are some things you can do to lessen the burden. Read More .

Indeed, email addiction is a real thing How to Beat Email Addiction by Tracking Inbox Habits How to Beat Email Addiction by Tracking Inbox Habits Email is hijacking your days, and it's being sneaky about it. You can regain control over your time. Figure out how much time you devote to email right now and steal it back. Read More , and it’s only one facet of a greater problem: smartphone addiction Are You Addicted To Your Smartphone? Are You Addicted To Your Smartphone? At one time, landlines and payphones were all we had--and we survived just fine, thank you very much. But now, it’s almost laughable if you don’t own an iPhone or Android, and for some of... Read More .

So before we make any recommendations, we’d like to remind you that sometimes it’s better to go without. But if you really do need a good email app, then keep reading! These are the first ones you should consider.

1. Blue Mail

android-email-app-blue-mail

4.7 rating across 152,000+ reviews.

Within one minute of installation, Blue Mail left me with one feeling above all: impressed. This app has it all, but the most impressive aspect was how smooth and fast it ran on my dinky Galaxy S3 Mini (an old, slow piece of junk).

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I also love the beautifully compact interface. Even on my tiny 4-inch display, Blue Mail feels like it has a lot of breathing room. It’s never cramped, it’s easy to navigate and switch accounts, it’s pleasing to the eye, and it’s pleasant to use.

Blue Mail supports Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, and Office 365. Both IMAP and POP3 are supported. Advanced features include per-account notification settings, Quiet Hours, Groups so you can send mass emails to the same recipients time and again, and more.

Download: Blue Mail (Free)

2. TypeApp

android-email-app-typeapp

4.6 rating across 142,000+ reviews.

At first glance, TypeApp looks like a Blue Mail clone. When I first launched it, I had to double-check that I’d opened the right app — and it wasn’t until I gave them a much closer look that I realized the two apps do have subtle differences.

TypeApp adheres to a slightly older flat design appearance instead of the Material Design principles used by Blue Mail, but TypeApp has additional interface elements that make navigation and management easier.

Overall, though, the two are very similar with nearly identical feature sets. Blue Mail has slightly better performance and less battery drain, but TypeApp is a great alternative if Blue Mail doesn’t work for you for some reason.

Download: TypeApp (Free)

3. myMail

android-email-app-mymail

4.5 rating across 225,000+ reviews.

myMail is also a lot like Blue Mail: clean, fast, beautiful, and a joy to use. A lot of the design elements are similar so it’s really up to your personal preference to decide which one you like better. You can’t go wrong between the two.

myMail’s range of support for different email accounts The Best Free Email Accounts You Need to Consider The Best Free Email Accounts You Need to Consider Everyone knows about Gmail. If you think that's the best free email account out there, you're underestimating all the other services. You have options and we have the details. Read More is nifty, including Google, Yahoo, iCloud, Outlook, Hotmail, AOL, GMX, Exchange, as well as their own free service called My Mail. Account setup could not be any simpler: just enter your credentials.

Notable features include real-time push notifications, easy file attachment process, unique email signatures, email threading for clean browsing of conversation chains, and up-to-date syncing using the ActiveSync protocol.

Download: myMail (Free)

4. Aqua Mail

android-email-app-aqua-mail

4.4 rating across 44,000+ reviews.

The first thing that stuck out to me about Aqua Mail is how outdated it looks. It isn’t ugly enough to dismiss outright, but it’s missing the clean beauty that makes the other apps on this list pleasing to use. Aqua Mail just feels old.

But practically speaking, it works fine. It’s simple enough to navigate, everything is laid out in an intuitive way, and it supports pretty much all email services: Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, FastMail, iCloud, GMX, and more.

The downside is that the free version of Aqua Mail has an account limit of two. If you have more accounts to manage, you’ll need to buy the Pro version. The free version also inserts a “sent with Aqua Mail” signature to all of your emails.

Download: Aqua Mail (Free, Pro for $5)

5. Alto

android-email-app-alto

4.4 rating across 7,000+ reviews.

AOL has put out some surprisingly good apps over the past few years, with the most notable being AOL Reader for RSS feeds AOL Reader: Feedly Competitor Or A Google Reader Alternative Runner Up? AOL Reader: Feedly Competitor Or A Google Reader Alternative Runner Up? Like a phoenix, Google Reader’s death led to its resurrection. After its death, half-a-dozen alternatives arose from Google Reader's ashes – some of which barely work. Others, however, eclipse even Google Reader’s functionality. One such... Read More . Now we have Alto, an email app that was released back in 2012 but didn’t really pick up steam until recently.

Alto is an attempt to innovate on the concept of mobile email apps, and a pretty successful one if you ask me. Everything is organized into Cards and Stacks so that you deal with the most important emails first.

Many email services are supported: Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, iCloud, Hotmail, Exchange, AOL Mail, or anywhere else that supports IMAP. But the most noteworthy feature is Alto’s dashboard, which aims to be a hub for your life and schedule (using your emails, calendars, and contacts for data).

Download: Alto (Free)

What About Gmail and Inbox?

You’ll notice that neither Gmail nor Inbox made the list, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad. Not at all! If you only deal in Gmail-based email accounts, then they can be great.

The Gmail app comes pre-installed on most Android devices, so that’s the way to go if you don’t want any hassle. Check out these hidden Gmail app features 9 Hidden Features in Gmail for Android You Should Be Using 9 Hidden Features in Gmail for Android You Should Be Using Get the most out of your Gmail for Android experience with these tips and tricks. Read More and these Gmail helper apps Get to Inbox Zero with These 8 Amazing Android Apps Get to Inbox Zero with These 8 Amazing Android Apps Deal with all your email quicker and easier with these Android apps. Read More to really kick your email productivity to the next level.

As for Inbox, it’s a unique kind of email app that may or may not be your cup of tea due to its unconventional design. Get a deeper look with our review of the Inbox app Google Inbox Review: A Breath Of Fresh Air Google Inbox Review: A Breath Of Fresh Air Gmail is a household name in the email department, but Google wasn't content with it. Meet Google Inbox, a new way of approaching email. Read More . If it seems interesting, just give it a try and see how you like it.

For everyone else, stick to the apps on this list.

Which app do you use to manage your emails on Android? Are there any good ones that we missed or overlooked? Do you disagree with any of the ones we listed? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Originally written by Joel Lee on February 8th, 2013.

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  1. Marsh
    December 21, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    Thanks for the review, Joel. I just installed TypeApp, but I hadn't heard about Blue Mail. If I like TypeApp, I might switch, so your review is very useful.

    But I wish you would make it even more useful by having a standard list of features and a table comparing each app with respect to features. For example, I use both an Android phone and an iPad, and would prefer not to have the learning and potential confusion that comes with different clients on different mobile devices. So just something as simple as a checklist of what other OS's the apps run on would be useful.

    One feature I absolutely need but find missing in mobile apps is cross-account IMAP access, along with appropriate account default settings. On my desktop computers I use Thunderbird, and it has this capability. So I use it to keep things organized. For instance, sent mail from all my email accounts (work, personal, etc.) all go into the same folder on one of my iMap accounts, which I change every year ("sent 2016," "sent 2017," etc.). I also use only one folder across all accounts for things like "Curate and store in Evernote," "Requires action," or "Bills to pay."

    This last example illustrates what I'm talking about. Someone may get a bill at work to renew a professional membership and a bill at home for electricity, but I think it's pretty common for people to put both kinds of bills in a single place and then go through them an pay them all at once. Yet most mobile apps I've looked at seem to conflate mail address and function, so that it's only possible to store sent mail or other messages related to specific purposes in folders associated with the sending account rather than folders shared across accounts.

    I notice you don't discuss this in any of these reviews, and you probably shouldn't. Many people might not be familiar with the concept, and it would take space and time to explain it. But a table of features, with the names of features linked to explanations where necessary, would provide such essential information to users like me and allow other users to familiarize themselves with the concept at a time of their own choosing.

  2. christine nakamura
    August 29, 2016 at 4:43 am

    hi my name is christine nakamura and im having trouble getting into my icloud account. i forgot my password and my security question answer. its been awhile since ive used iphone, and i want to recover my pictures and videos of my childern. is there a way i can retrieve them using my new email address. my old email account was with yahoo.com and i dont use that anymore it closed. my new email.

  3. Anonymous
    July 23, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    I use K9 as my client and eNotify to obtain 'BlackBerry style' control over email notification handling...

  4. Russell
    May 16, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    What is it with the Gmail app? Everyone sings its praises. Aesthetically, to me, I think it's awful, very messy and frankly confusing. There are several alternative apps that have a much simpler, cleaner interface that doesn't make you miss emails because they don't have 'priority' or other inboxes. Just an inbox.

  5. dave
    May 8, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    I am trying to put second email account on maildroid but could not find any options. Can anyone help me?

  6. Jack
    June 16, 2013 at 8:21 am

    No matter I am satisfied with my apps, I periodically check for better ones. For instance, I was happy with BitDefender antivirus app but by checking android benchmark performances at av-test.org, i just 'discovered' Comodo Mobile Security free av app, which is way better in performance and free features like backup of data, anti-theft and many more. It comes with a free battery saver which to my surprise is also way better than the previous one I was using. Following this same path, I am happy with Extended Email app with Android, but...looking for something better. By googling 'best email app android 2013' or similar, I found everybody is talking about the apps listed in this (excellent) article by Joel. By reading the comparison and features (thank you Joel) I found that in fact Enhanced Email pro - at US$9.99 it is powerfull with much more options than MailDroid, but cheaper. By reading the article I found that Enhanced Email has most if not all features listed for the other email apps. It can also be used by corporate users because it can sync with Exchange server. I personally find it simple to use. Option to unified inbox. I can chose the colour the led blinks when email arrives in one of your (unlimited in the pro version) inboxes. Just by looking at the color of the LED blinking I know which client/business is contacting me: is it one of my clients or is my girlfriend? I know in one second without need to open the inbox and can prioritize things. Enhanced Email accepts html signature, though it has not a WYIWYG editor. It can be used with pop, imap, gmail, yahoo mail and many other. User interface has not an amazing design, it is true, but it works perfectly well: I can configure color background for read, send, etc. emails. I can attribute a colour to each email account. There are many additional configurations that facilitate the life of users, like calendar and contacts sync for those that have an Exchange server (not my case). However, it is very simple to use: most of the time I just use it and with a couple of clicks I know quickly exactly what is going on with all my email accounts. I use it since around one year ago. Last time I 'lost my time' configuring it was around 8 months ago and since then using it extensively from 8AM-7PM for business and for leisure in the evenings without any issues. I was amazed to find that Enhanced Email is almost always not listed in the top search google list. After looking for alternatives in the last days, I chose to stay with it. Hope to have helped you decide by sharing my personal experience with Enhanced Email. The

    • Joel Lee
      June 16, 2013 at 11:05 pm

      Wow, thanks for sharing your experience with Enhanced Email. I haven't heard of it before but it's getting good reviews now and your endorsement has piqued my interest. I'll definitely be checking it out soon. :)

  7. Jeremy
    May 22, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    I'm looking for an email app that only supports one email account. Any ideas?

  8. Gordon
    May 1, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    On my PC I use Eudora, and have for years. One major thing I like is that it downloads my emails to my PC, and keeps them. I have the option of retaining copies on my server, or not (I choose to auto-delete them after downloading.) With my Nexus 7 tablet, every email app I have tried only reads them at my server. If I delete them from the server, they also disappear from my Nexus. Is there an email app that will download and retain them on my tablet?

    • Kees de Wit
      May 12, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      This option is available in most pop3 e-mail clients.

  9. Bill
    April 30, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    I have gmail, but have minor dissatisfactions with it. I need an email with the above edit functions and space for years of received email. I am willing to pay. Where is a review with a cross-reference (#) layout to compare the different attributes of the major email services. It should not be this hard to find the best email services.

  10. Bill
    April 30, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    Dissatisfied with the new yahoo android app since it will not allow me to edit my contacts or edit an email before I forward it. Lately, I was able get the two chores done using an earlier version of app yahoo android mail which does not allow me to send the mail out. I was able to save the edited email as a draft which was accessible with the newer version. Now yahoo is blocking me from going to the older version. The older version was perfect for all that I needed email to do before yahoo destroyed it. It appears that yahoo is driving people to their new dumbed down version so that they will have customers for a yet to be released paid version. Am I mistaken or has yahoo mail simply "gone to hell"?

  11. Benjamin
    April 19, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    Thank you for writing an article on Email client/apps. I have been particularly interested in MailDroid. I'm currently using Aqua Mail and quite satisfied with its Smart Inbox that consolidates all Inboxes of my email account. I move around quite easily and fast within the app a few days after I first installed it. attachments "panel" is a short swipe from the body of the email itself. Quite convenient and cool feature to swipe. The grey theme fits my taste. The interface is definitely elegant, yet robust where it matters. Highly configurable to the point where you wonder where you are within the settings. I dread apps that are "highly configurable" because I tend to get so deep in configuring that I get lost in the mayhem of it all. The color badges should have been paired already as a default and if the user wants to tweak then allow in export mode. It's too tedious for my eyes. How much more uncomfortable for those color blind who would end up taking primary colors just so to be done with it. I actually later realized after choosing color badges that bold primary colors didn't fit well with the quite elegant UI. They might be bold primary colors but to me they are fuzzy and need the shade to be easy on the eyes with muted colors that are not bright. I bet a lot users in the end went cross eyed with all the configuring including familiarity with those color badges. I will get use to it later but I preferred that color choosing be an expert mode setting. A fast pick up and go with the least amount of worries at the start of any app experience is well appreciated. Usually, email apps have the most number of settings that must be configured, and it's just too much to even ask users who have problems with colors and it's aspects to choose a color. I would be happy with a default setting for this.

    Forgive my gripe on such a small matter. AQUA MAIL is definitely a five star app nonetheless-_- Did I mention that AquaMail is quite FAST ?

  12. bill
    April 14, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    The problem I had with K-9 is that it didn't allow configuration for an outgoing SMTP server. The default email app for Droid doesnt allow for unlimited "Signature", which makes it a problem for investment advisors and stock brokers, or anyone who is regulated.

    This is where Blackberry ruled.

  13. Bart
    March 8, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    I like the Inomail app the most. It's perfect for reading all the mail from Yahoo, Gmail and others.

  14. Moris Kahan
    March 4, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    I would definitely add Emoze to this list
    I've done benchmarks with the stock ICS email client and with several third party clients like Touchdown, Moxier, K9 and I find that Emoze has the advantage in almost every aspect.

  15. Sean Michaels
    February 14, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    I'm using Aqua, K9, Gmail and the regular stock email client right now for 7 different accounts ... matching up the strength of the client with the way I use the various accounts. If an email address gets tons of emails that you just scan over and need to 'mark as read' you can get any faster than Aqua Mail (paid version). It also does great with attachments and flawlessly handles gmail. K9 I find to be easiest when creating/sending an email. I use one gmail account with the gmail client -- the only gmail account that keeps history, has location enabled, handles calendar notifications and the like. Finally, I have a '911' email address (ie: 911@mywebsitedomain.com) that friends know they can use in an emergency. Having it solo on it's own client makes it easier to configure to ALWAYS play a loud notification 24 7 when it's an urgent message.

  16. Tito
    February 14, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    It would be great to find one that supported GPG signing and encrypting emails.

    • Markus
      December 23, 2016 at 3:57 am

      I use k9 and OpenKeychain, GPG signing and en-/decrypting works fine.

    • Markus
      December 23, 2016 at 3:58 am

      K9mail + openKeychain

  17. Márcio Guerra
    February 13, 2013 at 4:08 am

    I have an Android device and have the first two apps installed, Gmail and Yahoo!, and I must say this. I hate Yahoo! for not allowing me to log off. I still can't log off. I've installed it a few weeks ago, nearly when it arrived, Yahoo! is my oldest email, and the professional one, and that is one thing that is «driving me crazy». I can't log off. If anyone knows, please tell me. Despite that, it is fairly similar to the current version of the web layout, so, after some habituation to the UI, I now go correctly to each arrow to send, reply, next email, but I admit they were poor choices for the job. At least not intuitive...

    Cheers!

    Márcio Guerra

  18. Saurabh
    February 12, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    I am using GMail. It is the best. Actually we people need to access a lot of Google services so it becomes mandatory to have a Google/GMail account and also GMail is comfortable too :)

  19. Yang Yang Li
    February 12, 2013 at 5:54 am

    Enhanced Email is very good. I use it exclusively for multiple accounts on my Android. It's UI is very friendly and makes emailing from my phone easy.

  20. Yang Yang Li
    February 12, 2013 at 5:54 am

    Enhanced Email is very good. I use it exclusively for multiple accounts on my Android. It's UI is very friendly and makes emailing from my phone easy.

  21. MailDroidDev
    February 8, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Appreciate the feedback. There are a number of major features that MD has including custom rules set with wildcards, online search for IMAP and offline for IMAP and POP, as well as a combined inbox for all inbox mail (not sent mail yet). Also, feel free to long-press things as that will show some menus that people don't often see such as long-pressing a folder allows IMAP subscription. Of course there is a ton more, but you would need to play with the app a bit.

    This year has a ton of plans of new features and requests, but one of the biggest will be some UI changes :-) They have already started, but the goal is to remain a functional app first.

  22. MailDroidDev
    February 8, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Appreciate the feedback. There are a number of major features that MD has including custom rules set with wildcards, online search for IMAP and offline for IMAP and POP, as well as a combined inbox for all inbox mail (not sent mail yet). Also, feel free to long-press things as that will show some menus that people don't often see such as long-pressing a folder allows IMAP subscription. Of course there is a ton more, but you would need to play with the app a bit.

    This year has a ton of plans of new features and requests, but one of the biggest will be some UI changes :-) They have already started, but the goal is to remain a functional app first.

    • Joel Lee
      February 11, 2013 at 6:24 am

      That's great to hear! I'm glad that you guys are keeping functionality's priority over aesthetics. I'm interested to see how MailDroid evolves over time. Keep up the good work! :)

  23. rcpffm
    February 8, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    I use K+@ mail (aka formerly K10).
    It's similar to K9 (which is one of the best for sure), but it has a much better surface.
    Try it!

  24. Jacques Knipe
    February 8, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I'm trying to move away from Yahoo Mail entirely so I can get all my mails in one central and easily accessible place using the Gmail application. Actually trying to convert my whole phone to Gmail's applications and services.

  25. Harshit Jain
    February 8, 2013 at 9:10 am

    No A+? There is a lack of good alternatives.

    • Joel Lee
      February 11, 2013 at 6:23 am

      I like to use a B as the standard rating. In other words, a B rating implies that the app does everything you'd expect it to do with acceptable quality. Anything higher is bonus. I've rarely given an A+ rating to apps. :)

      • Augustine Correa
        February 12, 2013 at 12:26 pm

        Perhaps a new post can be spun off as to what is needed for an Android app to get that coveted A+. I'm with you, in that, right now no app comes close to it. which is a pity since major email usage is on the mobile

        • Tim from Radio Clash
          July 8, 2013 at 1:17 am

          I think this is perfectly fair. There are good email apps for Android but not many, well any GREAT A+ ones. I mean - email filtering? Standard on many clients to have rules for folders, spam marked emails, etc. Android? Nothing.

  26. Nevzat Akkaya
    February 8, 2013 at 7:48 am

    No matter how many e-mail service and app I try, I always come back to Gmail official app, I'm addicted to it somehow.

  27. Gideon Waxfarb
    February 8, 2013 at 6:09 am

    I use K-9 on my phone and it's good, but it looks like ass on tablets. Looking for a good alternative that works with regular POP3 accounts.

  28. Ramandeep Singh
    February 8, 2013 at 5:40 am

    "I thought the “back arrow” button would return me to the previous screen but it replied instead. A “down arrow” in the top bar should’ve brought a new menu down, but it navigated to the next email."
    You really think differently. I never had that problem. AquaMail also do similar thing. Aqua Mail is my fav. for now.

    • Joel Lee
      February 11, 2013 at 6:21 am

      Yeah, perhaps it's just me. Glad you like Aqua, though. It's a great client!

  29. Jim Carter
    February 8, 2013 at 2:18 am

    I own a PC repair/sales business and depend heavily on Kaiten Mail to communicate with customers. It's one of the "must have" apps on my Android phone.

    http://kaitenmail.com/

    • Joel Lee
      February 11, 2013 at 6:21 am

      Thanks for the suggestion. It looks like Kaiten Mail is $4.99 unless you want to try the beta for the next version, which is temporarily free. Kaiten is based on K-9, so that's a potential fallback for those not wanting to pay.

    • Moris Kahan
      March 4, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      I would Definitely add Emoze to this list
      I've done benchmarks with the stock ICS email client and with several third party clients like Touchdown, Moxier, K9 and I find that Emoze has the advantage in almost every aspect.