Email Apps Worth Checking Out
With smartphones and tablets now essential parts of your life, mobile email apps have evolved, 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. (Image Credit: Sfio Cracho/Shutterstock)
Microsoft Outlook (Android, iOS: Free)
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, and 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 looking to enhance the Outlook mobile app, with a variety of new features planned to roll out in the near future.
Gmail (Android, iOS: Free)
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.
Dispatch (iOS: $6.99)
Dispatch treats your inbox as a to-do list. The app features quick, aggressive sorting options to quickly get your mail into archives or sent to a variety of other apps. Users can archive emails into Evernote, send links to Pocket or create linked events with Fantastical. It's fast, but not perfect. While Dispatch supports most IMAP services, it doesn't support POP email. It's a powerful tool for users that turn their emails into task items, sharing email content to a variety of apps and services.
ProtonMail (Android, iOS: Free)
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 (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 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 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 (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. Real-time travel notifications immediately inform you of any travel-related messages such as flight delays or gate changes, and the package-racking system makes a search for tracking codes a thing of the past. Edison's app supports Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Exchange, Outlook, Office 365, Hotmail, AOL, and IMAP accounts.
Boxer - Workspace ONE (Android, iOS: $4.99)
Since its acquisition by VMware Airwatch, Boxer (Android, iOS) 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 (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)
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)
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)
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 (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 (iOS: Free)
Spark is a nimble email app available on iOS 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 users can pin important messages, create one button quick replies, or snooze them for later attention. The app includes integration with a variety of apps and services, and emails can be saved as PDFs for reference. A calendar widget lets you quickly view and respond to invitations, and an Apple Watch app gives you quick access to important messages and notifications. The app supports iCloud, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, Exchange, and other popular email providers.