You don't have to be chained to your desk to manage your email inbox. With your Android smartphone or tablet and the right apps, you can view, sort and respond to emails from anywhere. Your device probably came with the stock Android mail app, but it's far from your only option. Other apps offer deeper functionality to help you tackle your inbox every day, and most are compatible with major email providers, including Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook, iCloud, AOL and Exchange. Give these apps a shot — they can go a long way toward helping you stay on top of things when you're away from the office.
MailDroid is a good pick for Android users looking for a lightweight email client. The app supports most Web mail platforms, as well as Exchange email for enterprise users. It lets you sync multiple email accounts to your smartphone or tablet, and then tweak the alerts for each. It also syncs with desktop calendar applications, as well as Dropbox. One standout feature is the ability to limit syncing to times when you are connected to a Wi-Fi network, to help you conserve your limited data plan.
K-9 Mail (Free)
K-9 Mail stands out thanks to its plethora of customization options. For example, the app lets you categorize your email into different folders, and specify which folders are shown in your primary inbox. You can even customize the color scheme of your inbox, and choose what color LED light flashes on your smartphone when you receive an email alert. The app also features pinch-to-zoom functionality so you can quickly resize text. In other words, K-9 Mail is a good pick for users who would rather tweak their email experience to suit their preferences, rather than sticking with the default settings. The app supports most email services, including Gmail, Outlook, iCloud, AOL, Yahoo and other POP3 accounts.
Gmail is one of the best Android email clients around, but it has one major shortcoming: As its name implies, it only works with Google's Gmail platform. If you use another email service — such as Outlook, Yahoo or AOL — look elsewhere. Nonetheless, Gmail users will find a lot to like in this app. It seamlessly strings together replies so you can read your exchanges as unified conversations. Gmail also offers some of the best spam detection around; promotional emails and website updates are grouped into separate folders, keeping your main inbox free for the stuff that really matters. The Gmail app also offers excellent search functionality; just tap the magnifying-glass icon and start typing. Search results are returned quickly, and the app offers search suggestions as you type based on the content of your inbox.
CloudMagic lets you combine multiple email accounts into a single unified inbox; messages from each account are color-coded, so you can see at a glance which email came from where. In other words, you can view all your email at once while keeping all your accounts separate, without the hassle of forwarding emails from one inbox to another. But the most impressive feature of CloudMagic is its powerful search bar, which lets you search for a specific email message across all your accounts at the same time. The app updates its search results as you type in real time, and is even able to provide smart suggestions as you type if you can't quite remember the keywords you need.
Blue Mail (Free)
Blue Mail is a solid email client that lets you turn your inbox into a to-do list. The app lets you mark new email in two ways: You can delete them, or simply mark them as "done." In other words, you can treat new messages like items on a to-do list, marking them when you are finished with them, regardless of whether you've viewed the message. Blue Mail also provides easy access to several snooze options. The first option lets you snooze a message for three hours, at which point you'll receive a second alert. The other option lets you set the snooze duration to any length of time you want. You can view either your full inbox or a task manager that lists all the emails you've snoozed or marked as done. Blue Mail is compatible with Gmail, Outlook, iCloud, AOL, Yahoo and other POP3 accounts.
Mailbox is a gesture-based email client that can help you sort through your backlog in a hurry using a variety of different swipes. To archive or delete an email, swipe over it from left to right. The effect depends on the length of your swipe: Drag until you see a checkmark and release to archive; drag further until you see an "X" to delete. If you want to respond to an email later, swiping from right to left lets you snooze the message, and a popup menu lets you choose how long to snooze, with options including "later today," "tomorrow" or "this weekend." Alternatively, you can specify an exact date and time at which you will receive another alert for the message. Another perk is that email exchanges are threaded, so you can view them like a chat conversation. Currently, Mailbox is only compatible with Gmail and iCloud accounts, but the developers say that compatibility with other email platforms is coming soon.