Ask Jack: iPhone email client replacement

Jack Wallen replies to a member who is looking for an iPhone app with similar functionality as the TouchDown mail client for Android.

Many iPhone users are starting to see another, brighter light at the end of a very long tunnel. That light is the flexibility of the Android platform. I've been getting a lot of questions from iPhone users asking how to make their iOS devices behave like Android or what equivalent application they can find to replace less-than-ideal apps on their native platform. Here is one such question from reader Sunny.

Q: After reading your article about TouchDown mail client, I found it is very useful. Unfortunately, I am using iPhone. Do you know what app will provide similar feature in iPhone? A: I would love to point you to an iPhone application that offers a similar feature set to that of TouchDown by Nitrodesk, but unfortunately, there is none. Apple has been very adamant about not allowing third-party applications through that repeat built-in features. That said, the iOS email client is a very solid tool. It doesn't come close to TouchDown in the terms of features and power, though it does a great job with personal email accounts and corporate Exchange accounts.

It's a shame that so many developers create iOS apps only to find their applications wind up on the App Store's rejection list; there are a lot of great developers out there creating incredible tools that do a much better job with a specific feature than the iOS built-in tools. This is part of what you buy into when you purchase an Apple product.

One application that looks promising and is very Gmail friendly is called SolidMail. The application was announced more than six months ago, and there has been no development or news about its release, so I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it.

I hope Apple will see the error of its ways and allow other developers to get their applications into the fold. I would love to see a version of TouchDown available for the iPhone, but I'm not optimistic about this possibility.

Ask Jack: If you have a DIY question, email it to me, and I'll do my best to answer it. (Read guidelines about submitting DIY questions.)


Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website

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