Top 5 email clients for Android

Whether you need something stock, are an Exchange power user, or somewhere in between--there is an email client for you.

The best five email clients for Android

No matter how much mobile users send SMS and other types of messages, there's no way around the fact that email is not only still relevant but crucial for many business and personal communique. When you have to manage your email on the go, it's important to have one of the best email clients at the ready.

I've used Android since its initial stable release, so I've worked with countless email clients before arriving at what I believe are the best available email clients on the market.

Here they are.

SEE: Mobile device security: Tips for IT pros (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Five best email clients on the market

1. Gmail

Gmail (Figure A) is the default email app for most Android phones (minus Samsung Galaxy devices, who use Samsung Email). Gmail isn't the default app only because it's Google's tool, but because it's one of the best apps for the task. Not only does Gmail handle your Google Mail account, but it can also work with Exchange, Office 365, Outlook, Hotmail, Live, Yahoo, IMAP, and POP accounts.

This app makes it very easy to manage Gmail labels (configuring which labels you want to sync), supports signatures, supports conversation view, and works with the new AI-driven Smart Reply. And with the latest releases, the email client enjoys a very clean, easy-to-use interface. Since Gmail is the stock Android app, it runs remarkably well. Gmail is stable, reliable, and free.

Figure A

Figure A: The Gmail main window is as clean as they get.

2. Blue Mail

Blue Mail (Figure B) is an email and calendar app in one. It's free and works with a number of email hosting services (Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, Exchange, Office 365, IMAP, POP). Blue includes an extensive swipe menu, makes it easy to snooze emails and switch between an email from people or people and services. It also has one of the best Unified folder features on the market, seamlessly integrates with your calendar, and allows you to group people together (and easily manage them with Smart Avatars and include them with group mail). Blue Mail includes both light and dark theme, supports left and right swipe actions, and much more. The one issue the average user might find with Blue Mail is that it includes many customizations that can be a bit overwhelming.

Figure B

Figure B: The Blue Mail quick filter tool makes it easy to view specific email.

3. K-9 Mail

K-9 Mail (Figure C) is an open source email client that is best-known for its ability to work with OpenKeychain for email encryption. Although the interface is somewhat outdated, it gets the job done and offers plenty of configuration options that will satisfy most casual email users. The minimal feature set might disappoint power users, but if you're looking to encrypt your email from Android, you cannot beat the seamless integration between K-9 and OpenKeychain. K-9 supports Exchange 2003/2007, IMAP and POP. If you want to include Gmail with K-9, you'll need to walk through the steps for enabling IMAP on Gmail. Those that are looking for a modern, feature-rich interface, need not apply.

Figure C

Figure C: Enabling encryption for an email is very simple with K-9.

4. Nine

Nine (Figure D) is another email client that works with Exchange, Office 365, Outlook, G Suite, Gmail, Yahoo, iCloud, and IMAP. Nine supports ActiveSync (and allows you to select which folders to sync). Nine also features Android Wear support and is geared primarily toward business users. Nine also features a quick filter tool, a rich-text editor, integrated calendar, tasks, and contacts, global address lists, full HTML support, SSL support, conversation mode, and much more. Of all the Android email clients available, Nine is by far the best suited for busy Exchange users. Nine is also not free. You can try it out for 14 days, but after that, you'll need to pony up $14.99 for a license.

Figure B

Figure D: The Nine sidebar gives you quick access to the Calendar, Contacts, and Tasks features.

5. myMail

myMail (Figure E) is another free client that supports Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, AOL, iCloud, Live, Exchange, GMX, and IMAP or POP3 mailboxes. The myMail interface is incredibly clean (in a similar fashion to the latest version of Gmail) and doesn't get bogged down with too many features. One of the best features of myMail is that it includes a built-in app lock. You can secure your email behind either a PIN or your fingerprint, without having to add a third-party application. So for anyone looking to get a bit more security for your email, but don't want to get overwhelmed by a massive feature-set, myMail might be just the client for you.

Figure E

Figure E: myMail is one of the cleaner email clients you'll find on the market.

The choice is yours

There are plenty more Android email clients out there, but I'm fairly certain one of these five is exactly the tool you need to get the job done. Whether you need something stock (Gmail) or if you're an Exchange power user (Nine), or somewhere in between (myMail), you'll find a client that's right for you.

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Image: Jack Wallen

By Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic, The New Stack, and Linux New Media. He's covered a variety of topics for over twenty years and is an avid promoter of open source. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen....