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15 best email apps

email apps
(Image credit: Sfio Cracho/Shutterstock)

One of the reasons smartphones are so indispensable is that they give you immediate access to your email at all times. Mobile email apps continue to evolve, each offering their own approach to the task of managing your inbox. But not all email helpers are created equal. From general purpose email app replacements to ones offering customization options, and AI smart assistance, here are the 15 email apps you might want to take for a spin.

Microsoft Outlook (Android, iOS: Free)

microsoft outlook email apps

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Microsoft acquired the excellent mobile email app Accompli in 2014, extensively reworking and rebranding it into the mobile version of Microsoft Outlook (Android, iOS). The resulting Outlook mobile app is a mobile productivity powerhouse, bringing your email, attachments, contacts and calendars into easy reach. Outlook's built-in analytic engine automatically surfaces important email (across multiple accounts) based on your communications. Quick swipe controls allow you to easily triage your email. It's a great mobile email app, and works with Exchange, Office 365, Outlook.com, Gmail, Yahoo Mail and iCloud email accounts. Microsoft is continually enhancing the Outlook mobile app with new features, such as new Do Not Disturb settings on iOS.

Gmail (Android, iOS: Free)

gmail email apps

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Google's Gmail (Android, iOS) comes default on most Android devices, and if you're already a heavy user of the search titan's web mail service, this may very well do everything you need. The Gmail app supports multiple accounts and notifications, while also offering particularly handy tools for organizing your emails. Automatic filters can sort out social notifications and spam mail, and users can get really get down to the nitty-gritty, setting rules for tagging incoming mail by sender and automatically shunting them into folders. In addition to Gmail, the app also supports a variety of IMAP and POP email accounts and Exchange. Google is continually adding features and improvements to the mobile apps, such as an Undo Send feature, customizable priority notifications, and the option to turn off the conversation view mode.

Aquamail (Android: Free)

Aqua Mail

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Aqua Mail is a freemium Android email app that offers easy setup for a variety of email services such as Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo; the app also supports email accounts hosted by Google Apps, Office 365, Exchange Online, with calendar and contacts sync for Office 365 and Exchange. Another neat feature is Aqua Mail's integration with a variety of popular Android apps such as Light Flow, Apex Launcher, and Tasker. A rich text editor, widgets, and theme customizations are among the many usability features. The app is free, with a $19.99 in-app purchase unlocking premium features like push mail for Exchange servers and Office 365, support for multiple accounts, and removing the Aqua Mail promo signature and advertising.

ProtonMail (Android, iOS: Free)

protonmail email apps

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ProtonMail (Android, iOS) offers its users a free, end-to-end encrypted email solution designed to make sure that nobody but you and your intended recipients can decrypt and read your messages. The service uses open source implementations of AES, RSA, and OpenPGP to help maximize security and privacy, and the app has the additional advantage of being ad-free. While anyone can sign up for a free ProtonMail account and email address, premium tiers offer more organizational features and cloud storage.

Tutanota (Android, iOS: Free)

tutanota email apps

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Tutanota (Android, iOS) offers encrypted mobile and webmail clients for users looking for a little bit of extra security in their emails. The service uses AES 128 and RSA 2048 systems in its end-to-end encryption, with optional two-factor authentication as an additional layer. Free users can create their own Tutanota email address, complete with 1GB of encrypted storage. Users looking for a little bit more can subscribe to premium tiers that allow for custom domains, expanded search, and inbox rules, as well as the option for unlimited storage. If you’re already dependent on your existing webmail or email provider, though, Tutanota’s probably not for you.

Nine (Android, iOS: $14.99, with 14-day free trial)

nine email apps

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Nine is an Android email app that's a bit more tightly focused than other generic email clients, as it's built around security and support for Exchange's Active Sync. Nine supports Exchange, Office 365, Hotmail, Outlook, and Google Apps accounts. It also features Active Sync, so you connect straight to your mail server, rather than having any of your data stored or indexed through any cloud or third-party server. Previously an Android exclusive, Nine has since launched an iOS version of the app. The app includes Android Wear support, widgets, an unread mail badge on select launchers, and other features. While the app isn't free, users can try it for free during a 14-day free trial.

Airmail (iOS: $4.99)

Airmail

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Airmail is a powerhouse email client on OS X that has since made the jump to iPhones and iPads, delivering a rich set of features as well as interface elements designed with the latest version of iOS in mind. The app provides support for Gmail, Exchange EWS, IMAP and POP3 systems, with gesture controls, single or threaded message views, labels, filtered search and more, all synced between your Mac and iPhone. Airmail also plays well with other services, supporting document import from OneDrive, Google Drive or Dropbox and letting you open links in many different browsers; it also features “send to” support for apps and services such as Trello, Evernote, and Pocket.

Edison Mail (Android, iOS: Free)

Edison Mail

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Edison Mail (Android, iOS) is an all-in one mobile email app that supports a variety of email providers while also bundling in a handy smart assistant and numerous helpful email management features. The app features configurable swipe controls, auto-sorting of email by categories, and a handy bulk unsubscribe feature to help you get off spammy mailing lists. Edison Mail’s built-in AI assistant offers a wealth of helpful features, such as real-time travel notifications for flight delays and gate changes, package tracking and receipt organization. Edison's app supports Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Exchange, Outlook, Office 365, Hotmail, AOL, and IMAP accounts.

Boxer - Workspace ONE (Android, iOS: $4.99)

Boxer

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Since its acquisition by VMware Airwatch, Boxer (AndroidiOS) has grown into an all-in-one mobile email app, combining email, calendar and contacts into a single experience, while maintaining Boxer's fast, gesture-powered interface. Swipes allow you to quickly throw mail into archives, trash, or spam, while menus provide more options like starring mails, adding labels, marking a message as read, and more. Corporate users get more utility out of the app with VMware's Workspace ONE platform for managing access, security features, mobile workflows and app integrations.

Missive (Android, iOS: Free)

missive email apps

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Missive (Android, iOS) is designed for small businesses and teams that have to work with a shared email account and email collaboration. Tools such as a built-in chat, shared labels, task assignment, filter rules and collaborative drafting mean you can share the workload and make sure everyone is on the same page as far as tasks are concerned. Users can create canned responses, schedule messages, and share content to other apps. The free tier offers a 15-day history limit and 3-team member limit for collaboration, with premium subscriptions removing history limits and adding app integrations and other productivity features.

Triage (iOS: $1.99)

Triage

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Where other clients are packed to the gills with features, Triage instead focuses on ruthlessly reducing your unread emails down to zero with a simple, distraction-free interface that depends on flicks. The app displays the contents of your inbox as a stack of cards. Flick a card up, and the app will archive, delete, or mark the message as read; flick down, and the message is kept in your inbox for later action. You can also tap on a card to view its contents as well as compose a short reply or forward. Triage's brutal minimalism means it probably won't be your main email workstation, but it's a great email assistant for clearing out your inbox. The app supports Gmail, Yahoo, iCloud, and most IMAP email services, and supports multiple accounts.

Spike (Android, iOS: Free)

Spike

(Image credit: Spike)

Formerly known as Hop, Spike (Android, iOS) takes a more conversational approach to emails, displaying your emails in a chat format with messenger-like flourishes such as GIFs, voice notes, location sharing, calls, and drawing tools. The idea is to give your mail client a more natural conversation feel. In addition to the chat-style emails, Spike offers automatic inbox sorting, a unified inbox for your email accounts, calendars, read receipts, attachment previews, and bulk actions. Spike features compatibility with Gmail, Outlook, Exchange, Yahoo, iCloud, and IMAP email accounts.

K-9 Mail (Android: Free)

k-9 mail email apps

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If you're looking for an open-source Android mail client, then K-9 Mail is an old (and somewhat old-fashioned) favorite, with support for IMAP, POP3, and WebDAV accounts and features including a unified inbox, multiple account support, attachments and themes. The app also supports OpenPGP encryption through the OpenKeychain addon. Interface-wise, K-9 does feel dated, but the low-frills approach is also an advantage if you're in the market for a distraction-free and feature-packed email app.

TypeApp (Android, iOS: Free)

typeapp email apps

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TypeApp (Android, iOS) is a slick mobile email app that features clean design and support for a wide variety of email protocols and services such as Gmail, Yahoo, iCloud, Exchange and Yandex, as well as IMAP and POP3. The app supports an unlimited number of mail accounts with quick switching and customizable push notifications for each account. There's also a neat "cluster" feature that intelligently bundles together related emails for viewing and batch actions. The app comes with numerous features, such as quick filters, configurable swipe controls, mobile printing, and Android Wear support, all wrapped up in a neat Material design package.

Spark (Android, iOS: Free)

spark

(Image credit: Readdle)

Spark (Android, iOS) is a nimble email app by Readdle that intelligently sorts incoming emails into quick categories, such as personal, notifications, and newsletters for easy sorting. Gesture controls let you quickly sort through your mail, and you can also pin important messages, create one button quick replies, or snooze messages for later attention. Spark features integration with a variety of apps and services, and emails can be saved as PDFs for reference. There’s also a nice set of collaboration features for teams to privately share and discuss emails, with shared commenting, drafts and delegation. The app supports iCloud, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, Exchange, and other popular email providers.