Apple's Mail solution inside iOS is Okay. But if you're looking for something with a little more pizzazz, check out these bad boys
Our iPhones are useful tools with myriad capabilities thanks to all the third party apps that we can install. Yet despite the millions of apps available, the one we probably use most often is the email client. On every version of iOS to date the default email client is called Mail and, much to the dissatisfaction of power email users everywhere, Apple doesn’t let you delete this app nor set another email app as the default email client.
With iOS 8 the Mail app is actually set to get much better with new smart folders and new gestures for marking your emails, but if that’s still not good enough for you may I suggest you take a look at the email apps on this list?
These email apps – listed in alphabetical order – are the best third-party email apps according to my polling of friends, colleagues, and scouring the web for reviews. Like Apple’s Mail app, none of these are one-size-fits-all, but if you don’t like the default iOS Mail app, you’re sure to find a suitable replacement below.
Yeah, it’s expensive, but Boxer is one of the most feature-rich email apps I’ve found. Boxer supports all major email providers including Microsoft Exchange (ActiveSync), Gmail, Yahoo, iCloud, AOL, Outlook.com/Hotmail, and IMAP.
But the real reason it’s so cool is because of features like Cloud File Integration, or the ability to attach a photo or add a file from Box or Dropbox when you compose a message; a wide array of swipe actions to archive, delete, or mark emails; assignable profile photos for people who send you emails; the ability to “like” messages, which will notify the sender you received it; HTML signatures; Evernote integration; smart folders, and more.
CloudMagic provides a unified inbox for all your email accounts including Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, iCloud, Google Apps, Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, AOL and other IMAP accounts.
I’m a big fan of its flat design and its easy setup process. Another really nice thing is that it’s got full integration with Salesforce.com, Zendesk, Pocket, Evernote, OneNote, Trello and MailChimp so you can perform quick actions on your email right from the app.
Dispatch has a lot of the same features as other apps on this list: support for myriad email accounts, swippable gestures, etc. But the real beauty of this app is its Snippets feature. A “Snippet” is a frequently used reply to common queries you get. Dispatch lets you save these Snippets so you can reuse them the next time you get a similar question.
The app also has heavy three-party app integration so you can quickly perform tasks on your email with apps like 1Password, 2 Days, Appigo Todo, Asana, Chrome, Clear, Dolphin Browser, Drafts, Droplr, Fantastical, Finish, Google Maps, Google Translate, HockeyApp, Instapaper, Message, Pocket, Readability, Reminder, Safari, Skype, and The Hit List.
For whatever reason, the default Mail app doesn’t work well with Gmail. I’ll leave that up to you to decide if this is done purposely as a rub on Apple’s part… or if Gmail's servers are just needlessly complex and hard to work with. But if you’re a big Gmail user you’re going to want to download this official Gmail client from Google.
It doesn’t have near as many cool features as other email apps on this list – and it only works with Gmail email accounts – but if Gmail is the only email you use, this app should be golden. Stellar features include powerful search (of course), nice notifications, and an interface that melds with the web-based Gmail interface nicely.
Now this is an email client that really innovates. Yeah it supports Gmail, Yahoo, iCloud, AOL, and other IMAP providers and it also has other stuff like good push notifications and such. But why this app is so cool is it completely reimagines your inbox and puts your message’s attachments first.
Using the app you set up “cubes” which are essentially saved searches for emails with different types of attachments. You can make a cube for photos, PDFs, Word documents, Excel documents, videos, and even links.
Tapping on any one of these cubes will show you every email with that attachment displayed beautifully on your screen. It’s a brilliant way to manage and view attachments on your iPhone and I wish Apple would build this into the default Mail app.
Mailbox, famously bought by Dropbox a few years back, was the first email app that really cared about making sorting and replying to your emails as fast and easy as possible. Matter of fact, it’s one of the first that thought of creating all these swipeable gestures so many of the other emails apps on this list now use.
It’s still a stunningly simple and fluid app – and users automatically get another 1 GB of free Dropbox space for using it – but compared to many of these other email apps, Mailbox is kind of light on features. It also only supports iCloud and Gmail.
Molto is an email client that also ties into your social media messages and gives you all your information in one place. As for email accounts it supports Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Outlook.com/Hotmail, POP3 and IMAP.
It’s got a clever, slick design that is something of a cross between Facebook’s news feed and Twitter’s timeline. And while I know social media users will love this app, users who are classified as “power email users” might do better looking at other apps on this list.
Seed Mail has a nice, minimalist design and offers a lot of good features like real-time push notifications and passcode logins for extra security. And while it supports email accounts from Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, iCloud, AOL and other IMAP services, the big thing is its Exchange Server support. Seed Mail works with Exchange 2013, 2010, 2007, and 2003, so business users are sure to love this.
SquareOne is an email app only for Gmail users because that’s the only email account it supports. I know, if there’s an official Gmail app, why use this? Mainly for the innovative way it sorts and arranges your Gmail. SquareOne presents you with a dashboard made of squares that contain emails that have been pre-sorted thanks to its filters.
Filters can include any you set up, which are based on the Groups features of Gmail. One really cool thing is the analytics dashboard that gives you starts about your inbox, including how many emails you got this month, how overloaded your inbox is compared to other users, and more.
Triage isn’t a full-service email client. Indeed, it’s done this on purpose. The goal of the app is to allow you to quickly skim your emails and sort them into important or not important piles. You emails appear as a stack of cards. You can see a preview of each message on the card and if its important you swipe down to keep it in your inbox for later or swipe up to archive it.
You can also tap a message to view its full contents, and compose a short reply. It’s a clever app but one power users will want to stay away from. Triage supports Gmail, Yahoo, and iCloud accounts, as well as most email services that support IMAP.