I’ve been carrying Android phones for the past few years after a long period of self-imposed exile on the Firefox OS, Windows Phone and Nokia ice floes. My choice of Android over iOS is less a religious choice than a frugal choice: to get a well-resourced iPhone would cost me $1000, and it’s almost impossible for me to conscience carrying around something that costs that much in my EDC bag. By contrast, my Nextbit Robin cost me $299, and while it’s rough around some edges, at that price I can treat it less like an expensive totem and more like a disposable appliance.
What might yet force me to buy an iPhone, though, is the seeming lack of a capable email IMAP client for Android.
The world’s gone Gmail, it seems. At least the world outside of me. And so there seems to be little development happening for Android on creating an email client with the high standards of something like Spark for iOS.
And believe me, I’ve tried them all.
My needs, I would have thought, are simple and easily-realized: I need is an IMAP client that’s reliable, elegant, and that handles IMAP folders and email attachments without flakiness.
All of the clients I’ve tried–Gmail in IMAP mode, Microsoft Outlook, Blue Mail, TypeApp, K-9 Mail, Alto, Aqua Mail–fail to tick at least one of those boxes.
And so I’ve ended up using Fastmail app that’s provided by my email service provider. It’s not perfect: it’s sluggish, has an awkward UI for deleting messages, doesn’t support sharing images from the Android share sheet, and has unusual auto-correct behaviour when composing. But it’s reliable, elegant in it’s own quirky way, and has reliable handling of IMAP folders.
But given that at least half of my email handling is done with my phone, I pine for something better.