Ask the Readers: What’s Your Favorite iOS or Android Email App?

Which email app do you use on your phone? Share your thoughts in this Ask the Readers thread.

One of these days, I’m going to stop starting every post with “call me old-fashioned, but…”

But it won’t be today.

Call me old-fashioned, but email is still my command center. I use it for all my official communications, for my to-dos, important documents, receipts, and for keeping in touch with my friends and family. I have Instagram and Facebook and Twitter and I’ve heard of Snapchat (kidding, Andre covers Snapchat quite often) but at the end of the day, email is where it’s at for me.

Not only that, I check my email on my phone far more often than I do on my computer. So, the email app I use on my iPhone is a pretty big deal.

Every now and then, I get the idea that I’m going to change my life, starting with the way I manage and use my email inbox. And many an app or service has stepped up with an offer to make that happen.

Sometimes for free. Sometimes not.

I’ve even gotten pretty excited about a particular email service or app. But for whatever reason—habit, user-friendliness, feature limitations—I sort of settle back to the familiar.

Today, I use the official Gmail app on my phone. For a long time, I resisted. I used Apple’s native Mail app because it was quick and seamless. Then, I switched to Newton because it was fast, clean and had nifty features like the snooze, send later, and most amazingly to me, read receipts. I’ve tried Google Inbox multiple times but I just can’t get used to it (it gives me anxiety for anyone or anything to sort my emails for me in any way other than chronologically).

I’m very happy with the Gmail app. It feels just as seamless as the native Mail app and it integrates quite nicely with Chrome, which is my browser of choice. My deep investment in the Google ecosystem makes it an even more logical choice.

That being said, I’m still open to something better, if it’s out there.

So, dear reader, I’m wondering:

Which mail app do you use on your phone?

Tell me about your favorite mobile app for email. How long have you used it? What is the must-have feature about it? What does it lack? Have you tried any of the email apps I mentioned? What’d you think?

Answer any or all of those questions—I’d love to know!

Leave a comment and check back later. I’ll add some of the more insightful nuggets back to the body of this post.



  1. Brian Burgess

    I use Microsoft Outlook on both platforms.

  2. Andre Da Costa

    Initially, I was using Outlook for iOS a lot, but its behaving weird since the introduction of the new Outlook.com and Focus inbox. I also noticed Outlook.com is parsing my emails when I send mesages to myself, like its looking for suspicious info – trust me, its nothing but screenshots for Groovypost articles. Another issue I found with Outlook for iOS, if I attach pictures to Outlook from the Photos app using the share sheet, then click Send, it doesn’t actually send the message until I open Outlook.

    With these annoyances, I am starting to switch to Gmail. Less hassle and just gets me my mail.

  3. Luc

    I use MyMail (Android) – all my email accounts nicely assembled in one app.
    Plus a smartphone-exclusive @my.com account

  4. Cory

    Default email app on Android.

  5. Jerome A. Grossman

    I’ve been using Alto (from aol) lately. I like how I can easily access (one click) all of the photos, or all of the documents, attached to (or even included in) emails. (Truth be told, that is its killer feature, for me.) It has a dashboard (with weather, calendar, and information about pending orders), as well, that I find useful.

  6. Nick

    Buit-in mail app on iPhone, and Microsoft Outlook on Android.

  7. Robin Wienke

    After using the IOS app for years, I changed to the Outlook app. Easier to use, cleaner and syncs to my PC based Outlook.

  8. Vadim

    I use outlook for iOS. It works and everything is in one place. I like the focused inbox feature.

    Tried other apps, this for me is the best premium email app.

  9. John McKinney

    I use Gmail on all the platforms that I use (Win, iOS, Android and Chrome) merely because it is practical, powerful and the best email app that is available for me.

  10. C Allen

    Mozilla Thunderbird, I’ve tried several, Thunderbird seems to check off all my boxes better
    than any of the others.

  11. Mary

    MyMail for iPhone

  12. Kixfan

    I currently use Mailwise for Android. It has all the features I need and is easily customized to include all my other accounts. I have tried others like Gmail or Inbox or Outlook but they never seem to do what Mailwise does.

    • Jack Busch

      Interesting – I haven’t heard of Mailwise. What does it do that Gmail and Outlook don’t do?

  13. Jim Shunamon

    I use both Gmail and Inbox. I like Inbox only because i can pin important items until I can come back to them at a more convenient time. I only access my Outlook mail from my PC so that’s not a big issue for me. Besides, I’m a minimalist at heart so I like to have as few apps as possible on my phone. But I do like trying new things too, but unless something is just absolutely stellar i always come back to what works and feels familiar to me..

    If it ain’t broke don’t fix it !!! :)

    • Jack Busch

      I’ll admit, I do something similar to “pinning” emails in plain ol Gmail. I leave them unread until I deal with them. But the problem is if I put them off long enough, they end up at the bottom. I really should try to give Inbox another chance…

  14. Maurice Brown

    I have been using e-mail since it’s very earliest days. I get about 200 – 300 messages daily. GMAIL on my iPad Air 2 is my favourite IOS app – using about 30% of my iPad’s capacity. I found that the 4-category triage offered by the app NOT USEFUL. My iPad is usually connected to the Internet via my wi-fi. Other items on the wi-fi include network printers and a window 10 desktop. This latter machine has the Windows version of the Gmail app. This is more powerful than the IOS app, in that I can use internal labels for my E-mail stream, to help classify every incoming e-mail. Over the past six months, I have developed a comprehensive switching mechanism, that is applied, automatically, or with assistance from mr, to each incoming e-mail and is ‘pigeon-holed’ into the appropriate “folder”. Thus, I collect my email into categories that are meaningful to me. Thus: Personal, Work, News, specific subjects (such as Astronomy, Mathematics & Physics, Politics, international Affairs & Emergency Preparedness), writings of favourite Internet authors, Hardware, Software-win10, Software-IOS-apps.

    What emerges is a well-ordered set of messages that are of current or potential interest to me. Not every email is read by me, but if the source or the subject is of a high level of interest, I can set the flag for that message, when I do my initial scan. Some days I don’t flag any message; on other days, there may be several items that I need to pursue.

    By this means I can approach the ‘zero inbox’ syndrome, but that isn’t too useful. I much prefer what I do have – a reading list that focuses on my particular interests.

    With respect to the future, I have to think about a way to generalize the method, by permitting a user to fashion his/her own interest profile. But that may be difficult to do.

    • Jack Busch

      The thought of 200-300 emails a day gives me heart palpitations. I’m compulsive about at least reading all my emails.

      But I see what you mean. Your set up is sort of similar to when I used to use a lot of RSS feeds. And it’s sort of how I handle the various podcasts I follow. Nice to be able to scan what’s new and see what piques my interest. Might not delve into each one, but I like to see what’s coming down the transom.

  15. Maurice Brown

    To Jack Busch,

    Yes – I receive e-mail messages from a wide range of sources. And I, too, am addicted to new and accurate information.
    My selection process is a bit cumbersome. I blame the limited functionality and lack of precision of Gmail search. Of course, I do not have a User Guide. Is there such a document for Gmail on Windows? If you know of such, I would appreciate hearing how to find it on the Net.


    Maurice Brown

  16. James

    paid for and love, Boxer

  17. Charlie Kahle

    I have tried various apps over the years but find I keep switching back to K-9 Mail on my Android devices. Works well against my multiple email accounts all running IMAP.

  18. Maurice Brown

    Hi Jack,

    I use the Windows 10 Google Chrome browser and load my gmail messages, through the GMAIL App.. Then messages are channelled using filters, into their proper destination ‘folders’. This is done, while I am doing my initial scan using Gmail for IOS (REV: 5.0170813) on my iPad. This version seems to be updated frequently, although I don’t track it’s changes.
    I am generally not near my desktop, but, if necessary, I can access that machine Via a Splashtop remote connection from my iPad.

    The setup is very specific to my areas of interest. I have looked at Inbox to see if it can match this.
    I have my doubts.

    What I really need are the rules to be followed in labelling the incoming messages.

    BTW I use the Mail app for Ios to handle 4 different email streams – ID@icloud.com, ID@xxxx.net, proxy@gmail.com & ID@gmail.com. These are all funnelled through the desktop machine, but can be process ed through the iPad, immediately. Of the 4 email streams, one is for an Apple server, one for an IMAP server, and two for GMAIL.

    Maurice Brown

  19. Robert Henerey

    Bluemail for Android, also for iOS. https://bluemail.me/

    • Maurice Brown

      To: Robert Henerey

      Thanks for the reference to Blue mail. I will check it out.

      Maurice Brown

  20. Robert Ingram

    Bluemail is great. Aquamail would be my second choice.

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