Despite the litany of new communications services that hit our smartphones on a seemingly daily basis, email continues to soldier on as most people’s preference for sending files, contacting estranged friends, and dealing with companies.
There were an eye-watering 205 billion emails sent every day in 2015 — and that figure is expected to reach 250 billion by the turn of the decade.
But which Android email app should you be using to access all your messages?
We’ve looked at email apps extensively in the past, so a word of warning before we continue: We will be steering clear of the likes of Gmail, and instead looking at some more unique options.
For an Instant Messaging Experience: WeMail
Instead of using a traditional email inbox, WeMail tries to replicate the fluidity and nimbleness of the now ubiquitous instant messaging apps.
It will sort your inbox by sender and displays email conversations in a threaded, chat-like way. It also offers a “Quick Reply” function and allows you to send short voice snippets, just like WhatsApp.
Finally, it provides an easy way to access every document you’ve ever sent or received — no more searching through endless pages of messages just to find that flight confirmation!
It currently supports Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, and Outlook. According to their Google Play Store listing, IMAP and Exchange are in development.
Download: WeMail (Free) on the Google Play Store [No longer available]
For Material Design: TypeApp Mail
With an average rating of 4.6 and 85,000 five-stars reviews, this is one of the most highly-regarded email apps in the Play Store. It is also one of the most beautiful.
Beauty in itself is not enough, however. It also needs to be functional, easy on the eyes, and easy on the fingers. TypeApp is excellent in all of these ways.
- Quiet hours, custom sounds, and snooze alerts
- Smart email clusters that’ll pull together messages about the same topic from different senders
- Light and dark themes
- Mobile printing
- Rich text signatures
Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook/Hotmail, AOL, and iCloud are all supported, along with many less-common providers such as Hushmail and Zoho. It also supports IMAP, Exchange, and POP3.
Download: TypeMail (Free) on the Google Play Store
For Open Source Lovers: K-9 Mail
K-9 Mail is probably one of the best-known Android email apps. It is approaching its tenth birthday and has been downloaded almost 10,000,000 times.
Although it’s design looks somewhat dated, it is one of the most functional apps in the Play Store. Much of that stems from its open source credentials, with the code having been available since October 27, 2008.
It supports multi-folder syncing, email flagging, signatures, and Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) software, as well as lots more customization options.
Download: K-9 Mail (Free) on the Google Play Store
For Simplicity: Mailwise
Mailwise is excellently designed and is fast and intuitive to use. But that’s not its biggest strength — rather, it’s the apps incredible ability to strip out all the unnecessary clutter from emails so that only the pertinent information is displayed on-screen.
Allow us to paint you a picture. You’re stuck in an important email thread at your office. Some of the information included is vital to an upcoming client meeting, so you have to read it all. Annoyingly, however, more than 50 percent of the email is taken up by signatures, company logos, and messages that implore you to avoid printing and save the environment.
Mailwise will hide all this junk, along with repetitive phrases such as “Hi again”, “Good Morning”, and “Regards”. It makes threads much easier to follow and makes you less likely to miss out on key details.
Download: Mailwise (Free) on the Google Play Store [No longer available]
For Productivity Geeks: CloudMagic
If you use cloud or Internet-based services to perform your job or your simple day-to-day activities, then CloudMagic is the email app for you.
It hasn’t been around for as long as some of the other options on this list, but that doesn’t mean it should be neglected. It boasts a sleek Material Design layout which prioritizes simplicity over on-screen buttons, yet it still manages offers all the power features you’d expect from a modern email app.
The feature that sets it apart from its competitors, however, is its integration with a plethora of third-party services. These include Wunderlist, Todoist, Evernote, OneNote, Trello, Zendesk, Salesforce, Asana, Instapaper, OmniFocus, and many more. Emails can be saved to the services, images can be imported from them, and calendar appointments can be synced.
Download: CloudMagic (Free) on the Google Play Store
For Solid All-Round Performance: myMail
There is nothing about myMail that makes it particularly outstanding, it just does lots of things really well.
For example, the design is neat without being mind-blowing, the features are extensive without being best-in-class, and its supported protocols are well-varied without being all-encompassing.
The app plays nicely with Gmail, Outlook, Hotmail, GMX, Apple, Yahoo, and AOL. Features include contact avatars, message flagging, email threads (to show your whole conversation on one screen), and numerous email filters.
Download: myMail (Free) on the Google Play Store
For Microsoft Users: Nine – Exchange
Unfortunately, the official Outlook Android app has been plagued with issues. A cursory look at the comments on the Google Play Store reveal people experiencing everything from syncing issues to performance problems.
So, what should you do if you are heavily invested in the Microsoft ecosystem, and specifically, anything using the Microsoft Exchange Server?
The answer: download Nine.
It’s primarily aimed at professional users, so it doesn’t support basic Gmail or Yahoo (though it does support Google Apps). From a privacy perspective, it won’t index any of your emails on its own servers, while from a features perspective, it will sync with your contacts, calendars, tasks, and notes across all your mobile devices.
Download: Nine (Free two-week trial, $9.99 thereafter) on the Google Play Store
What App Do You Use?
We’ve listed seven apps that approach email in a unique way; however, there are lots more, each of which has its own positives and negatives.
Which email apps do you rely on? Are you happy with the stock Gmail offering? Have you used one of our recommendations? Or do you use something else entirely?
We’d love to hear your thoughts and recommendations — just let us know your tips in the comments section below.