My Galaxy Tab was running Android 3.1 since I bought it. The included EMail client (not the GMail APP) was fine for me. Not as comfortable as a real desktop EMail client (I use Sylpheed-Claws), and not as good as my webmail interface (Horde/IMP), but OK to handle 100 – 300 EMails a day. I liked the split into day/week/month in the list-view for the EMails, being able to select a whole day (and deselect a subset) for quick actions (delete/move).
Yesterday I updated the Tab to Andorid 3.2. While there is now a nice transparence effect available in some places, and the Play-Store has a different user-interface, the big difference for me is, that the behavior of the EMail client changed. When I view a message the message-list moves the message-list in a way that the selected message is in the first position of the message-list. This is annoying, and I have not found a setting how to change this. This way I can not view the last displayed message, select it (or not), view the second last, select it … and so on … and then delete all message at once.
I also noticed that the folder-list is moving. I have not noticed a specific pattern, but when I return to the folder-list I found the incoming folder being the first one displayed, even if I was in a folder several pages down. This is annoying too.
Well… this gave the opportunity to have a look at other EMail clients. The first one was K-9 Mail. The first bad impression was, that the boxes to select EMails are too small. I select a lot of EMails to either delete them directly (a subset of version control commit logs), or to move them to a different folder. It is a nice app, but as I need to select a lot, it is not really suitable for my workflow.
For the next app, MailDroid, I did not had the possibility to accept the self-signed certificate of my IMAP-server, so I deleted it immediately.
The next app was Melwin Mail (trial version). It is based upon K-9 Mail. The message-selector boxes are bigger, but the mesasge-list does not display the full subject. This does not allow me to see if I can delete the EMail unread or not. I also did not find a way to enlarge the message-list to see more of the subject (and I want to have the font-size not too small). Well… this means it is not suitable too.
I also wanted to look at Kaiten. It is based upon K-9 Mail too. Unfortunately I do not find a trial version. Based upon my experience with Melwin Mail, I do not want to pay for something, I may not want to use. On the website I do not see a link to screenshots or similar, only a change-log.
All the “best EMail app” postings/articles I was able to find (and have a look at) told that K-9 Mail, is the best free one, and a lot of people recommend Melwin Mail or Kaiten. I can not agree for my workflow. EMail apps have to go a long way until they reach a niveau which allows to handle more than a handful of mails per day and a not so simple workflow like “read all EMails as they flow in”.
Based upon this, I switched back to Android 3.1 on my Tab. While the included EMail client is not perfect (e.g. I can not select all EMails at once in search-results), it is still better suited than what I have seen so far.
Unfortunately I can not really test 4.0.x on my Tab, the camera does not work in community-based Android 4.0.x versions, and I do not want to miss the possibility to do a video-call with my deaf brother.
Tags: email clients, first position, folder list, gmail, horde imp, imap clients, imap server, incoming folder, quick actions, webmail interface —