Mobility

MailDroid: A more versatile, user-friendly Android email client

Find out what Jack Wallen thinks MailDroid is one of the best suited mail apps for business users.

I like the built-in Android mail client, but there are times when more is simply necessary. Fortunately, with Android, you have options. One such option (one that offers plenty of power for business users) is MailDroid.

As a powerful, flexible email client, MailDroid offers the following features:

  • A powerful search filter
  • Threaded view
  • Bookmarks (for quick access to folders)
  • Rule-based connection management
  • IMAP idle push
  • Save/download attachments from email to SD
  • Settings support for signature, font size, ring tone, led color etc
  • Custom mail rules (like Outlook and Thunderbird)
  • Spell check
  • Search mail online (for IMAP only) or offline
  • Password protection
  • Microsoft Exchange 2003, 2007, 2010
  • Full WYSIWYG editor
  • Split screen (tablets only)
  • Cloud storage integration (dropbox)

NOTE: In both versions, calendar integration and ActiveSync are in the works

There are two flavors of MailDroid:

The Pro version adds the following features:

  • Up/down arrow in email to move to next or previous emails
  • Ability to set where to go after deleting an email (next/previous or back to inbox)
  • Two widgets

But is MailDroid the right app for you? Can it help you better communicate with your business and your clients? I believe so. Let's dig into this replacement mail client and find out just how it works.

Installation

As you might expect, the installation is quite simple. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google Play Store
  2. Search for "maildroid" (no quotes)
  3. Tap the free version
  4. Tap on the entry titled "Maildroid - Email Application"
  5. Tap Install
  6. Tap Accept & download
  7. Check the box for Automatic Updating (if you want to make use of that option)

After the app is installed, you'll find the launcher for the app in the app drawer.

First usage

When you first fire up MailDroid, you'll be prompted to accept the EULA. Tap the Accept button, and then tap Next. Once you've made it through the EULA and/or the feature listing, you'll be prompted to set up an account. You have three options (Figure A):
  • Auto Setup
  • Manual Setup
  • Import Settings
Figure A

MailDroid as seen on the Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy S III.

Most likely, you'll want to walk the path of Manual Setup, as that's often the best chance for success. Tap the Manual Setup button, and then select between the following types of accounts:

  • IMAP
  • POP3
  • Office365
  • Exchange 2003/2007
  • Exchange 2007/2010

Tap the account type necessary to continue on. Depending on the type of account you need, the configuration options will vary. Most of the account types will require the following:

  • Email address
  • Username
  • Mail server

In some cases, you might need (again, depending upon the type):

  • SSL settings
  • Ports
  • Domain
  • Outgoing SMTP server
Once the account has been created, you'll see release notes. Tap on the home button (upper left corner) to go back to the account listing page (Figure B). Figure B

MailDroid as seen on the Verizon-branded Motorola Razr Maxx HD.

Obviously, you can have multiple accounts on MailDroid. Tap the account you want to view, and you're ready to start managing your email.

Cool features

There are a couple of nifty features I want to highlight for MailDroid. The first is the Connection Management. With this feature, you can dictate exactly how MailDroid connects to your mail server. You can use the Connection Manager to remain connected (Push) to your server, close connection upon exit, check email on intervals, never check email, and more.

Let's walk through how to use the Connection Manager.

  1. From within MailDroid, tap the menu button, and then tap Account Preferences
  2. Scroll down and tap Connection Management
  3. Tap New Rule
  4. Give the new rule a name, and tap OK
  5. If you need to define the rule by time or day, tap those options and configure
  6. Tap Connection Management
  7. Select the options you want to associate with this rule (Figure C)
  8. Tap the back button to return to the rule
Figure C

Here you see some of the options for the Connection Manager.

If you do not want to create multiple rules, you can always re-configure the default rule by simply tapping on Default (within the Rules List) and configuring that rule to meet your needs.

Another cool feature is Bookmarks. With Bookmarks, you can set up quick access to folders within your mail account. This will help make an account with numerous folders and sub-folders more efficient. To bookmark a folder, follow these steps:

  1. From within the account, tap the folder icon (Figure D).
  2. Figure D

    The icon in question is highlighted here.
  3. Once you're within the folder listings, scroll to the folder you want to bookmark, long-press the folder, and select Bookmark (Figure E).
Figure E

Creating bookmarks for folders will give you more efficient access to specific folders.

MailDroid is probably one of the best suited mail apps for business users. Its flexibility and ease of use can make on-the-go email management much less of a hassle, which means you get more work done.

Which email app do you prefer? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.

About

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

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