The Android EMail app on ICS

In the review of the Email app of Android 3.2, I com­plained that the message-list moves in a way that the select­ed mes­sage is in the first place of the message-list. This was annoy­ing for my work­flow. In the Android 4.0.4 app (at least as it comes from Sam­sung for the Galaxy Tab 10.1) this changed so that it is the sec­ond item in the list in some cir­cum­stances (this does not hap­pen always). This is bet­ter (some­what accept­able) for my work­flow, but still, I would pre­fer if it is at least con­fig­urable. Do not move the list when I select a mes­sage, except for mak­ing a par­tial­ly vis­i­ble list-item com­plete­ly vis­i­ble.

The oth­er point I did not like about the 3.2‑app was the fold­er list moved so that the inbox is first when return­ing to the list. Thank god this changed too.

The two big dis­ap­point­ing points I had about this app are most­ly fixed in the ICS ver­sion.

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Email app from Android 3.1 in Android 3.2?

As pre­vi­ous­ly report­ed, I tried the update to Android 3.2 on my Tab and was not hap­py about the new EMail app. At the week­end I had a lit­tle bit of time, so I tried to get the Email.apk from Android 3.1 into Android 3.2.

Long sto­ry short, I failed.

Tita­ni­um­Back­up PRO was restor­ing or hours (the option to migrate from a dif­fer­ent ROM ver­sion was enabled) until I killed the app, and it did not get any­where (I just emailed their sup­port if I did some­thing com­plete­ly stu­pid, or of this is a bug in TB). And a copy by hand into /system/apps did not work (app fails to start).

Ideas wel­come.

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Android Wish­list: The EMail-App

Things I do not like with Android, and what I would expect instead.

The EMail-App

 This is about the nor­mal EMail App on a stock Android 3.1, not about GMail. The con­nec­tion is via IMAP.

  • By default the most recent EMail is on top. If I switch to oldest-first order, the old­est EMail is shown when enter­ing a fold­er. I want to see the most recent one. If I let the most-recent order, I see direct­ly the newest mes­sages, but when I read the old­est unread mes­sage and delete it, the more old mes­sage is dis­played, instead of the more recent one. KMail is doing this bet­ter (it is able to go “up” instead of only “down” to go to the more recent mes­sage when the most recent mail is sort­ed on top), but in KMail I can not select mul­ti­ple mes­sages as easy as with the nor­mal EMail App (it seems I have to long-tap on a mail and then tell to select the EMail, and just then I can just quick­ly tab on the very small area on the left of the sub­ject to select more EMails).
  • Select­ing mes­sages could also be improved. When I select sev­er­al mes­sages, and then – by acci­dent – enter a mes­sage and want to go back, the first “go back” uns­e­lects all mes­sages and the sec­ond “go back” goes back to the folder-view. I would like to go back direct­ly to the folder-view, instead of uns­e­lect­ing all mes­sages.
  • The folder-view itself is also not nice. I have a lot of fold­ers. IMAP sub­fold­ers are sep­a­rat­ed by a dot, e.g. FreeB­SD.arch and FreeBSD.multimedia are the sub­fold­ers arch and mul­ti­me­dia in the fold­er FreeB­SD. Each desk­top EMail pro­gram I used so far was intel­li­gent enough to cre­ate a folder-hierarchy out of this, with the pos­si­bil­i­ty to col­lapse the dis­play of all sub­fold­ers of FreeB­SD (I have a lot there, not only those 2) into one entry. If I want to field some­thing in my hier­ar­chi­cal fold­er struc­ture, I have to scroll a long list of fold­ers, instead of just (auto-)opening (dur­ing drag&drop) the cor­rect hier­ar­chy.
  • I do not find an option to tell that the App shall have a look at more than the default inbox to look for new mes­sages. If I want to know if there is a new mes­sage in one of the oth­er fold­ers, I must have a look into the folder(s).
  • It looks like I can only pro­duce TOFU-replies, I have not found a way to do a prop­er interleaved-style reply.
  • The error mes­sages when set­ting up an out­go­ing (and I assume incom­ing) serv­er are too brief for my taste. As a default it is OK, but there should be an option to enable more verbose/technical error mes­sages for those which are able to under­stand them.
  • It does not option­al­ly save send mails to a spe­cif­ic (con­fig­urable) fold­er.
  • It does not allow to cryp­to­cal­ly sign mes­sages (at the moment I do not real­ly care if it is via S/MIME or via PGP).
  • I also would like to tab with two fin­gers, and the text in-between is select­ed (not only in the EMail-App).
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Not much free time…

I am work­ing for a new client now, where I have more things to take care about. This reduces a bit the pos­si­bil­i­ty to write some inter­est­ing things here.

There are some things I would like to doc­u­ment here, some more expe­ri­ences with Android and cus­tom cer­tifi­cates, some things about Solaris, and oth­er stuff. Unfor­tu­nate­ly the day has only 24 hours.

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Access­ing this web­site with Android

If you tried to access this web­site with Android before, most prob­a­bly it failed. This is fixed now, I had an over­ly para­noid rewrite rule which should not trig­ger for the native Android brows­er any­more. If it still fails (no mat­ter if with Android or some­thing else), I would like to get a HEADS-UP from you (with a note at which date and time you tried to access which page).

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