If you own an Android phone, chances of you not using its email feature is next to zero. And somewhat disappointingly at the moment, Android’s default email client is not one of its best features. This default email app can be a bit slow and sometimes unreliable.
Fortunately though, Android offers its users many alternatives and most of them can be downloaded from the app market for free. As you read on, you will know about some alternative email apps that have all the basic functionalities of their stock counterparts with a few extra features that make them special.
K-9 is one of the most flexible and configurable email apps and works exceedingly well for managing non-Gmail accounts on an Android phone. In fact, the configuration settings offered on this phone are next to no other app. While all apps give you the ability to organize your mail, K-9 goes a step further with its myriad options.
You can create folders for different purposes like keeping archives or filtering spam, decide how much of a particular folder K-9 can download to the phone and can even control the color of the LED light which acts as notification. K-9 gives the user a free hand in organizing mail instead of forcing to do so in a certain way.
K-9 has its fair share of drawbacks though. Users can’t search messages on the server; it’s possible only on messages that are downloaded to your phone. This is a pretty basic and necessary feature for any IMAP client. It also doesn’t offer the “conversation” view, again something email apps today must have. Another gripe is that K-9 can be a bit confusing to get around at first.
One of the most popular Android email apps at the moment, Maildroid covers pretty much every aspect that one normally needs from an email client. The setup process for Maildroid is very simple indeed. Basic features like email attachments, recipient sharing and sending emails are all covered quite adequately. But MailDroid does all that very briskly as its one of the fastest email clients for Android phones.
It allows you to store incoming mail attachments directly to a memory card and setup your own signatures and recipient groups. Email retrieval, password protection, personalised alerts and MS exchange are some more good features of the app. On the downside, the app doesn’t let users access address books from multiple email accounts. Otherwise, MailDroid is one of the most nifty and well featured email apps around.
Hot Email’s main claim to fame is the Hotmail access it provides to its users. The app is also known for its many user notifications. These notifications cover mails, messages, upcoming events, Facebook messages, friend birthdays and a few more. Most of Hot Email’s tools are simple and very convenient to use and this coupled with MSN access has more and more users switching to this email app. On the downside, Hot Email doesn’t let users accept or send friend requests. This is a sore point as most other email apps have this feature. The app also doesn’t let users view their friends and the photo gallery.
This app is completely based on the source code taken from GingerBread. What this means is that this app has all the latest features of Android’s inbuilt email client plus many of its own features that the developer has incorporated. The UI of the app is very familiar and getting used to it doesn’t take time. Messages can be managed with a Mobile View which works like a charm by keeping everything perfectly matched to your phone’s screen. This app does very little wrong although it might not be different enough from the stock client to justify its price.
This app has just about every feature that normal user would want. POP3, IMAP, push – everything is there with the addition of improved IMAP synchronization. The app has its own address book and is also capable of opening ZIP files. The one space of improvement for Profimail is its optics and hopefully it would be sorted out in the updates.
Initial versions of Shangmail faced repeated stability issues and many questioned its ability to be a worthy alternative to Android’s stock email client. But these niggles were fixed in subsequent updates and since then many users have adopted this client to good results.