As far as digital modes of communication go, email has been around for a long time. And yet, it hasn't been replaced, as it remains central to the way most of us keep in contact with one another. However, it's become so popular and convenient that it can be difficult keeping on top of it, and that's where the right app can help. Here are the best email apps for Android.
There are a lot of email apps out there (Google itself has two) so you can pick the one that suits your needs and workflow best. Remember to customize the app notifications as required so you only get alerts about the messages that you're most interested in.
Gmail: the gold standard
It's easy to become so familiar with Gmail that you forget just how good it is. The app recently introduced a unified inbox view, so you can check emails from all of your accounts at once, and that's on top of all the usual smart features (including a primary tab for the most important messages).
From the clever search features to the swiping commands to the familiar conversation view, there's a lot to like about Google's flagship email app. Delve into the settings page for your account to set which types of messages trigger a notification on your device and the sync period.
ProtonMail: free end-to-end encrypted emails
ProtonMail is an open source secure email provider based in Switzerland, a country known for its strict data protection laws. ProtonMail's servers are located there, and that is also where it is incorporated. The project was created at CERN in 2013 and has since grown rapidly, no doubt due to their mission of providing a more secure and private internet for everyone. That is why you can create an account and use the service for free. There are premium subscriptions available which offer more features as well, but the free version is enough for most users.
The service offers end-to-end encryption of your messages, even when the recipient doesn't have the app, in which case you can secure the message with a password. Another neat security feature is that you can set your emails to automatically "self-destruct" or delete themselves after a certain number of hours or days.
The inbox design is very modern and intuitive, so you won't have any usability issues. Plus, it has a sleek look with a light purple color scheme that is very appealing. You can use it on your computer's browser, or on their iOS and Android apps.
Inbox by Gmail: more automation
Power users will probably want to stick to Gmail, but Inbox is an interesting alternative for those who want more automation in their email workflow. The app goes further than Gmail in terms of automatically sorting messages and deciding how important they are and where they should go.
Updates about travel and deliveries get bundled together, for example, and you can create customized bundles for low priority messages too. Attachments and images are displayed right in line with the messages and it's possible to snooze emails to a later date as well.
Outlook: Microsoft is upping its game
Microsoft is working hard at upping its email game (and its mobile apps across the board) and Outlook is further evidence of that. It looks the part, brings you all the features you're likely to need, and can sort your incoming messages into varying levels of importance on your behalf.
OneDrive and your Outlook calendar are integrated, so it's perfect for Microsoft users (though other accounts are supported too). The Focused tab shows the most significant emails first and there are quick filtering options to help you sift through large numbers of messages easily.
Newton Mail by CloudMagic
Newton offers premium features for a price. The subscription costs $49.99 per year, but there's a 14 day free trial. If the price tag seems to high, keep reading anyway, because this app could drastically improve how you keep your email communication organized and save you time.
First, this email app will work with Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail/Outlook and IMAP, plus it will integrate with your Office 365 and Google Apps accounts. It can also manage your calendar, since it supports Calendar for Gmail and Exchange. Imagine not having to switch apps to use your calendar and email at the same time! With a Newton account, you can access your email and sync preferences across all devices, Android or Mac, and even Android Wear.
The real distinguishing aspect of the app is its premium feature set, not its broad compatibility. These features include: Read Receipts, Snooze, Send Later, Undo Send, Sender Profile and Connected Apps. These are mostly self-explanatory, and obviously will allow you to organize and be more productive. The Connected Apps make Newton really special though. Make your emails actionable by connecting to your productivity apps, like Todoist, Evernote, OneNote, Pocket, Trello, Zendesk, Salesforce and Asana.
What do you think is best email app for Android? Do you have a favorite not listed here? Let us know in the comments below.