Despite the popularity of text messaging and FaceTime, email is still one of the most important communication functions on iOS devices such as the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Apple, of course, offers its own email app but there are lots of others available as well.
But which email apps work best for iOS? As with most things it really is a question of beauty being in the eye of the beholder. Macworld has a great roundup of the best iOS email apps that summed that point up really well.
Michael Simon reports for Macworld:
Like it or not, email is a part of our lives. What started as an exciting declaration of “You’ve got mail!” has become a nonstop nuisance of beeps, buzzes and dings. All day long we’re inundated with a barrage of messages, and it’s all we can do to keep up. Important emails can get lost under the weight of so many extraneous ones, as our inboxes bulge at the virtual seams.
Apple’s own Mail app has gone from just respectable to pretty great, at least since iOS 6. For many users, there’s no need to go searching for another email app. Its standout feature is still simplicity, but it also benefits from superb Maps and Calendar integration, VIP filtering, and support for large attachments. And if there’s a third-party email client that can match Mail’s annotation capabilities, I haven’t found it.
But while Mail may be one of the few stock iOS apps users don’t immediately banish to a deep, dark folder, many habitual emailers will still seek out a third-party alternative. And that’s where my quest to find the best iOS email app began.
Best for minimalists: CloudMagic
Best for professionals: Outlook
Best for Gmail: Inbox
Best for Getting Things Done: Dispatch
More at Macworld
What other iOS users use for their email
An Apple redditor recently started a thread about email apps for iOS and got some interesting responses from his fellow iOS users.
Crushed Oreos started the thread with this post:
What are you guys using for email on iOS these days?
For the longest time, I was a huge fan of Outlook for iOS.
But during these past few weeks, I’ve been having serious issues with mail being delayed by hours on one of the five/six email accounts I had configured.
Tried everything. Removed all my accounts. Added them back in. Deleted Outlook. Reinstalled Outlook. Removed my accounts AGAIN. Added them. Reset them one by one. Nothing.
One of my classmates suggested Spark, and I’ve been using that for about two days, and while it’s not the prettiest app in the world, it’s been super reliable, which I need. The built in calendar is straight up useless, but I’ll live with the official Google Calendar app on my phone.
Anyway, I want to know, what do you use and why?
More at Reddit
His fellow Apple redditors responded with their own thoughts:
MacStainless: “Right now I use Airmail which is highly customizable with its feature-set. There’s an iPad and Mac version too and all the settings reside on iCloud so everything stays in sync. It’s regularly updated and really polished. I actually had the Mac app first and LOVED it. When they went to iOS, it was an insta-buy for me.
Spark is nice mainly for its selective notifications. I had a Pebble (now have Apple Watch) and it was vital for me to not get flooded with email notifications on my wrist. AirMail does this in a different way with VIP notifications, but Spark did it fantastically.
I HATE Polymail. Runs like crap and there’s constant upsell.
Mail.app is always serviceable and let’s face it: it’s what most “normals” use on their iPhones.
My main advice is to try a few different apps for a week or two and then decide. Also don’t be afraid to get a PAID app. Quality software rarely comes for free and a $5 or $10 app may be the best thing you’ve ever used. Plus Apple does issue refunds on apps if you ask nicely, in case you get a truly horrible paid app. Oh, and you’ll be supporting developers to continue to improve their software.”
Wildgoat: “…Outlook for iOS is still way more reliable than the default stock mail app. Cant tell you how many times for different accounts I got into trouble for not replying to emails. It happens in Outlook too once in a fortnight or so.”
Toothferret: “I recently switched from Outlook to Spark for many of the same reasons. Spark is working fine so far, but I do miss the calendar lockscreen widget functionality of Outlook. I sent an email to the Spark developers suggesting the feature, so maybe we’ll see some movement there.”
PR1996: “Inbox, I like the simple interface and the automatic organization it does. Easily lets me manage and get rid of promotional and social emails quickly. I’m sure there are other apps that do this better but Inbox works for me.”
FalconLorenzo: “I’ve tried a lot since mailbox died.
Airmail is a paid app, in pretty sure, but I’ve been using it for about a year now I think. It’s single handedly the best mail client that I have found on iOS. The extensibility is great but I very much like the 4 action swipe controls and the snooze feature is pretty great too!”
Stonevil: “Mail.app for private accounts and Outlook for company account”
Alwaysrebooting: “I read/reply to mail via the stock Mail app because AFAIK, only the stock mail app includes notification actions for “mark as read.”
I label/categorize email (same account) in the Gmail app however. Gmail also features push notifications that arrive much faster than the stock Mail app (Google disabled instant push for IMAP).”
Damiendevlin: “Genuinely prefer default mail app over anything else.”
More at Reddit
I stick with Apple’s mail app in iOS
While I’m very glad that there are other email apps available for iOS, I must confess that I still use Apple’s default email app on my iPhone and iPad Pro. Part of the reason for that is that I don’t actually read or respond to email often on my iOS devices. So sticking with Apple’s email app is a bit of a no-brainer for me.
I still use my Mac mostly for email, and on my Mac I just use Gmail in a browser window. I tried Apple’s email app for macOS, but it’s faster and easier for me to use Gmail in a web browser than it is futzing with Apple’s mail application.
I am glad though that there are alternative email apps for iOS, and that some people find them more useful than Apple’s own email app. But for some of us, it’s just easier to stick with Apple’s mail app and call it a day.
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