22 November 2014

Exchange email applications for Android

Over the last few days I've done a quick review of a number of Microsoft Exchange email clients for Android. I like to keep work and private life separate, and in Lollipop this has become harder when using the default Gmail and Email applications. After an upgrade, my corporate Exchange account was combined into the Gmail application, and that isn't what I wanted.

So I did a short review of the following apps from the Play Store:

  1. AcquaMail
  2. MailWise
  3. Accompli
  4. CloudMagic
  5. Nine
(I also did a review of BlueMail, which is not an Exchange client, but worth mentioning - see below)

These are all good applications - lots of work has gone into them, and I could live with any of them. Clearly though, I wanted to work out what was best for me.

The application I think I will purchase?  Nine, but it wasn't easy.

Your use-case may differ. This is not about the "better app"; it's about what works best for me.

Nine

  • clean interface, nice to look at
  • threaded email conversations
  • rich text HTML body
  • rich text signature
  • works offline
  • two widgets - one that shows recent emails, the other that shows unread count and starts the app
  • can compose and "send" while offline and it will send when back online
  • cons
    • I missed the neat integration in CloudMagic with Evernote and Todoist

CloudMagic

no rich text - dealbreaker
  • clean interface, nice to look at
  • would do the job for me except for the "Cons" below
  • had very neat integration with Evernote, Todoist, Trello and a number of other useful apps
  • Cons
    • no rich text
    • doesn't work offline
    • no threading
    • didn't always sync fast enough for me
    • a bit slow to display inbox because it goes to a cloud service

Acquamail

  • did the job
  • nice rich text in email and signature
  • cons
    • interface was not my cup of tea
    • wasn't obvious how to get to subfolders
    • no threading

Accompli

no rich text - deal breaker
  • good interface and showed cc/bcc without any extra clicks
  • has threading

MailWise

No rich text - dealbreaker
  • Nice interface
  • threading
  • cons
    • no rich text
    • I didn't like the way it handled an email with no body text but had an attachment - wasn't obvious that there was an attachment

BlueMail

While I'm at it, I should mention I tried BlueMail before I realised it didn't do Exchange - however, I was impressed with how it worked with my Google Apps account. It's quite a good Gmail client, and it has some features that help you turn emails into sort-of to-do tasks. Well worth a look!