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.
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
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).
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)
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)
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 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
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)
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. 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 and these Gmail helper apps 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. 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.