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Kaiten Email -- The best email app so far?

Authored by: Jay O. — Aug 29, 2011

I don't know about you but my inboxes are often chaotic, and that's putting it mildly. I remember back in the day when I had only one address, and let me tell you that it was even more disorganised.

The way I see it there are two options for resolving this mess: comb through your inbox(es) by hand or find an app that allows you to manage more than one email addess.

Kaiten Email is an email app based on the infamous K9-Mail app, and it packs a mighty punch—but will it help you keep your emails in check? Find out more about our app of the week in today's review.


Tested version Latest version
1.134 2.017

Features & Use

Test devices:

LG Optimus Speed / 2x
Android version: 2.3.5
Mods: MIUI

Acer Iconia Tab A500
Android version: 3.1
Mods: Root

Many of you will be familiar with K9-Mail, perhaps some of you are even using it, and if you are you will know that K9 has a LOT to offer. Well, rejoice, because the developers have added even more functionality to the already very generous app. In fact, there are so many functions and settings options that I'm a bit dazed & confused as to where to even begin.

So let me start with telling you what Kaiten started as: a simple setup assistant.

Most providers need an email address and password and Bob's you're uncle, you're logged in. The app susses out which settings a provider demands; it supports POP, IMAP(-Push) and Exchange 2003/2007 accounts.

The main menu displays folders for each of your accounts, as well as a folder that combines all of your inboxes. Don't get too nervous about this notion of a combined account—it's actually very well organised thanks to the margin on the left hand side in which indications as to which account an email was sent are listed.
Accessing emails takes no time at all—overall it's much faster than the Googlemail client that's installed on Android devices.

Speaking of Googlemail, I'm used to a little thing called threaded view, so when I first started using Kaiten I was all like 'Whoa, where are the threads?'. I had a look around the settings but wasn't able to find any information on as how to display conversations as threads. That's a big let-down.

Open an email in order to see the usual email-information: who sent it, the date of reception, etc.
There's a margin at the bottom of the screen that allows you to quick-access the following functions: delete, move to another folder, jump to the next email, jump back to the previous one.
There's a – somewhat hidden – option that allows you to reply to/forward an email—look for it int the upper margin. There's a button there which I mistook to being a mere 'Create New Email' button, but in fact two other key functions lurk beneath the surface.

I love that the small grey bar at the top can be pulled down in order to view a folder without having to close the email (similar to Thunderbird, if you are familiar with that). I found this to be especially cool on tablets in horizontal format. It works very nicely on my Acer Iconia Tab A500.

Hit the file name on the upper left corner in order to access the email account's list of folders .

Let's move on to the settings, and please hold on to your hats because there are a lot of them. That doesn't mean you have to use them all, but they are there if you want them. A lot of users will probably be quite content with the app's standard settings.

I will focus on general settings; there are settings for folders and/or accounts that are similar to the general settings on the whole.
There are seven different categories:

  • Display
  • Interact
  • Messages
  • Network
  • Misc
  • Data privacy
  • Troubleshooting

The display settings let you pick a theme, though there are currently only two to choose from: a light one and a dark one.
You can also set a font size for the various lists (accounts, folders, messages and message display).
The date format can be changed; animations can be deactivated; a more compact display can be activated; splitscreen can be deactivated, change the number of sentences displayed per email preview; select to have email addresses displayed rather than the senders' names and activate your favourite font. There are lots more settings, I'm just highlighting the most important ones.

Use the interactive settings if you want to start off in the combined inbox every time you start up the app.
Kaiten supports gestures which can be activated.
You can also use the device's volume buttons to scroll through messages.

Go to message settings in order to set up a sort of 'time-out' during which you won't receive any messages. If that isn't precise enough, go to 'Messages' and de/activate vibration alerts for individual accounts.

Data privacy settings can be altered so as to display or hide the subject line in emails.

And lastly, well, there's not that much of interest to say regarding the miscellaneous and troubleshooting settings.

Bottom line:
I'm very tempted to give Kaiten Email a whopping five stars... but then there's the issue with the missing thread-view for conversations. Kaiten Email is nonetheless is a league of it's own—it may very well be the best alternative there is to the normal Android email app.


Screen & Controls

Kaiten Email does come across as messy and confusing at first glance—and I don't know that a certain air of chaos could be avoided with such a high volume of functionality.
It takes but a few minutes to figure the app out, however.
Kaiten's design is perfectly fine, though not mind-blowing. The red frame is nice and you can't really except that much more of an email app.

Speed & Stability

Kaiten Email is very, very fast. There are basically no loading times, unless you want to consult an email that hasn't been saved to the device and it has to be reloaded via a bad connection.

Kaiten Email didn't crash at all throughout our test runs.

Price/Performance Ratio

Kaiten Email usually costs €4,23 / US$6,13, which is admittedly quite a lot, but worth it if you are looking for an ultra efficient setup app. However, seeing as it is our app of the week you can download it for only €2,19 / US$3,17.


Kaiten Email -- The best email app so far? Kaiten Email -- The best email app so far? Kaiten Email -- The best email app so far?

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