An­droid IMAP cli­ents re­view

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.

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