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The 5 best free email apps for your iPhone «iOS & iPhone :: Gadgethacks

You are a busy professional on the road, so you deserve an email client that keeps track of you. "Mail" on iPhone was not always the best option, but thanks to iOS 13 it feels like a completely different app. That said, there are plenty of alternatives that offer a different experience. Better yet, these apps are free . You don't have to spend a cent to try them out yourself.

Are you looking for an app that intelligently sorts your email? How about one that protects you against sketchy senders? Maybe you just want an email app with a good widget or support for themes. These functions and more can be found in the clients below and they all work with most e-mail accounts. Take a look!

Table of contents

Comparison table

Image by Jake Peterson / Gadget hacks

Key comparison points


  • IMAP support: Most common e-mail services such as Yahoo Mail, Google or iCloud are Internet Messaging Access Protocol (IMAP) accounts. Chances are that if you use an email from a popular service, your account drops to IMAP.
  • POP3 support: Unlike IMAP accounts, which store your e-mails continuously on a server, POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) accounts download and delete those e-mails from the server. These accounts are not as popular as IMAP and many email applications do not support them. So if you have a POP3 account, you want to make sure that the app you choose is compatible.
  • SMTP support: Otherwise known as Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, these accounts usually only send files to another source and are not involved in receiving messages themselves. If your account works with SMTP, you want the e-mail client to support this.

App functions


App 1: Spark

Spark is an excellent app for people with multiple e-mail accounts to sort through. It has the most features on our list and has some of the most intelligent options anywhere in the App Store. No app is perfect, but if there is an app that can do almost anything, it's Spark.

However, if you are looking for POP3 support, Spark may not be the right choice for you. Although the app supports many popular e-mail accounts, as well as IMAP and SMTP, POP3 is simply not included.

Spark & ​​# 39; s "Smart Inbox" separates all incoming emails from your connected accounts into three categories – Personal, Notifications, and Newsletters. Personal appears at the top of the app, giving you a clear overview of the emails that require your immediate attention. Notifications range from new sign-up notifications from Google to shipping confirmations from Amazon. Newsletters can contain real e-mail newsletters that you sign up for, but you will probably also see advertisements and unwanted e-mail in this section.

Spark also contains many adjustments. You can choose which of the above folders are displayed in your Smart Inbox, and whether they are sorted into individual folders by email account or all merged into one folder. It's hard to go back to an old way to do email after using an app like Spark. You start ignoring something and not in your personal folder (because so much of what ends up in the other two folders doesn't matter).

Unfortunately, Spark does not integrate "bundles" in its e-mail service, where multiple e-mails of the same type be collected in one e-mail. It also has no VIP mailbox, but the "smart" functions are so good that you may not even notice it.

On the other hand, you can both schedule an e-mail to be sent at a later time, and can snooze e-mails for later viewing. You can set a reminder if you do not receive a reply from your recipient on a specific date.

Spark supports four swipe actions at the same time, two on each side of an email. You can adjust any action to any action you want, so you can read and sort e-mail as quickly as possible. It also offers "Select All" as an option in mailboxes, folders, and search, but does not support the iOS 13 speed-dialing function. Although there is no attachment filter when searching, you can easily search for attachments by typing the file type.

App 2: Apple Mail

In the past it was slightly more difficult to recommend Apple's Mail app for main users. The truth was that Mail just didn't have the features that we expect from modern email apps. However, those days are clearly over, since Mail is now number two on our list. This is why Apple's stock app is so good.

  • App Store Link: Mail (free)

It is true that Mail does not have a smart inbox or bundles such as Spark and others on this list. You cannot schedule emails to be sent at a later time, nor can you snooze emails into your inbox, which are both disappointing. If you are looking for a more intelligent e-mail application, Mail may not be the right choice for you.

What Mail can do is to offer you a VIP mailbox, something that no other app on this list can provide. You may miss a Smart Inbox, but with a VIP mailbox, your e-mail experience must be virtually cleared. And like any good e-mail app, Mail supports four sweeping actions. After all, this is Apple – you know that iOS functions are built into the company's own apps.

You can't select all items when searching in Mail, but you can use the new iOS 13 speed-dial feature instead. You can also search attachments and delete emails found in bulk. With Mail you can also hide your concepts for more multitasking and, if you ask me, it works and looks better than Spark. Just swipe down your draft to hide it at the bottom of the screen. It is very covert, but also gives you easy access for later editing.

Mail of course has a widget. Although it does not support traditional smart notifications, you can manually use the & # 39; Report me & # 39; choose to receive notifications for specific email threads. A surprise here is the omission of quick response on the lock screen. You might think Apple allows you to quickly reply to emails such as replies to an SMS or iMessage, but unfortunately no.

Mail does not store your frequent searches, but the flag system supports up to seven colors. You can easily mute conversations and adjust those conversations with rich text formatting. There is no support for teams or templates, but you can create signatures. You will also notice that Mail switches between light and dark mode based on your system theme, which is no surprise given that it is a standard Apple app. That said, there are no custom themes.

Mail clearly works with Siri Shortcuts and, like other stock iOS apps, you can u adjust the warning sounds. You can unsubscribe from emails in the app, but you can't choose where links are opened – Apple forces your Safari to open. The company is doing a bit well by including "Remote Images" as an option in Settings, so that you can block trackers.

You cannot undo sent messages, so be careful when firing those emails. However, you can block individual e-mail addresses and even use encryption, provided you go through the painful system of certificates. As with all apps built into iOS, Mail was last updated with iOS 13.1.2 in September for 2019.

With Mail, you can choose from up to 40 preferred languages ​​and filter your inbox for a more targeted experience. It is also the only app on this list that allows you to take screen shots of an entire page, which you might use to share long emails in individual apps. Mail naturally includes Quick Action functionality for all iPhones, whether they are compatible with 3D Touch or not. Surprisingly, the app excludes support for Face ID or Touch ID protection. You would think Apple would offer this protection that every other third-party app on our list offers, but I think they believe your iPhone's lock screen is secure enough.

You can find all the font profiles installed on your device in the rich text editor, but if you need app integration in an email client, Mail is and not . Apple has not added any third-party calendar or app integration to their iOS email option. Although it is not a total dealbreaker, it is a disappointment. You would at least hope that Apple would add in-app support for their own Agenda app, but oh well, I guess that's what the app switch is for.

App 3: Outlook

Outlook can be a Microsoft creation, but it works great on iOS. It's packed with features to keep your email focused. Although it has its errors, Outlook is without a doubt an excellent e-mail client.

Outlook intelligently sorts and balances your many email accounts in a "Focused Inbox" (also known as a smart Inbox) to give you a clear picture of what's important. You may be shocked to see how few emails you see in your inbox with focus, but chances are that most emails sorted from this inbox are really not important.

If you want to make sure that Outlook does not receive important e-mail, or you are just curious about which automated e-mails did not reach your inbox, you can click on & # 39; Other & # 39; tap to the right of & # 39; Targeted & # 39; to see every e-mail that is sent your way (except spam, of course).

Outlook does not use bundles, nor can you schedule emails to be sent later. What you can do is snooze emails for later viewing, so you can focus on the right things at the right time. There is no VIP mailbox, but your Focused Inbox works hard anyway to filter only your important messages.

Focused Inbox (left) versus Other (right).

Outlook integrates well with iOS, but does not fully benefit from the potential of the software. Like many other apps, Outlook uses swipe gestures for specific, customizable tasks – by default swipe right to set swipe actions or swipe left to archive. I'd like to see Outlook apply layered swipe movements – half a swipe activates one function, while a full swipe activates another. Certainly, but other email clients already have this feature.

Outlook does not support selecting all items while searching, nor can you quickly select multiple emails. You can search for attachments, but you cannot delete search results in bulk, nor can you hide your drafts from multitasking. However, Outlook has a widget for its app, which is certainly useful.

As with the best "smart" e-mail apps, Outlook sends you smart notifications so that you do not see unwanted e-mail taking over your lock screen. However, you will not see a quick answer option here either. All answers must go through the Outlook app, no exceptions. Outlook does save your frequent searches, so you don't have to type the same query twice.

The Microsoft app includes an option for highlighting colors, but no options for mute, rich text formatting, teams, or templates. That said, it supports signatures, as well as the dark mode of iOS 13, so the app always reflects the theme of your system. You can also ignore that theme by choosing persistent light or dark modes in the app.

You can choose from a selection of Outlook sounds, but you can also postpone to the stock sounds of iOS. The app also offers the best variety of browser options, including Chrome, Safari, Firefox and, appropriately, Microsoft Edge. You will also find a setting for blocking trackers, as well as the first two apps we have covered.

There is no undo send option in Outlook, nor can you block addresses, but you can enable encryption by setting certificates. Microsoft keeps the app up-to-date and includes 75 preferred language options in Settings, the largest number in this list. Filters are here to make your inbox more manageable, but unfortunately not full page screen images.

Outlook lacks a good ability to use Quick Actions with its app – the only place where you can find Quick Actions here is on the Home Screen that is handy. Options include setting a Display Today widget, as well as "New Email", "New Event" and "View Calendar".

You can quickly keep intruders out of your inbox by locking Outlook with Face ID and Touch ID. Nobody will read your e-mails without your scan. That said, there is no custom font support yet, according to Microsoft's decision not to include rich text formatting.

If calendars are your thing, Outlook has you covered. All calendars & # 39; s associated with your e-mail accounts are synchronized with the app, so you can see all events in your personal and business accounts. You can even add third-party applications to your calendar in Outlook, such as Evernote, Facebook or Wunderlist.

App 4: Edison Mail

Edison Mail is a smart e-mail client full of features. Edison shines because of his "assistant" functions, as well as many of the same functions that make Spark so great. Just like Spark, however, it does not contain POP3 support, making them the only two apps on this list that miss this feature.

The & # 39; Assistant & # 39; van Edison is perhaps the crown jewel. This intelligent function presents the content of your e-mails in easy-to-view lists, which you could relate to bundles. You do not necessarily manage your e-mails with this viewer, but you get a clear idea of ​​what your overall e-mail activity looks like.

For example, the Subscriptions tab lists all the organizations and products from which you return e-mails receive. With one tap you can completely unsubscribe from a list without clicking through to the website. That in itself is a reason to immediately download this app . Other assistant tabs are Travel, Packages, Invoices & Receipts, Entertainment and Security, the latter of which helps you identify whether one of your accounts is being compromised.

If you hang around in the inbox, Edison has still covered you. De app bevat een "Gericht" Postvak IN, net als andere apps op deze lijst, om door de rommel te bladeren en uw persoonlijke en belangrijke e-mails op de voorgrond te plaatsen. Helaas laat Edison je geen e-mails plannen voor vertraagde verzending. U kunt e-mails echter snoozen in uw inbox, zodat u deze belangrijke berichten nooit zult vergeten. Er is hier geen VIP-mailbox, dus uw belangrijke contacten kunnen worden gemengd met mensen waar u misschien niet veel om geeft.

Gelukkig weten de ontwikkelaars van Edison een paar dingen over het optimaliseren van de gebruikersinterface. Een van die voordelen wordt geleverd met vier veegacties, die volledig aanpasbaar zijn. Dat gezegd hebbende, de app laat je niet alles selecteren in zoeken, snel meerdere e-mails selecteren, bijlagen zoeken, bulk verwijderen uit zoeken of concepten verbergen voor multitasking. Gelukkig wordt Edison geleverd met een widget, zodat u gemakkelijk belangrijke e-mailinformatie rechtstreeks vanuit de weergave Vandaag kunt bekijken. Over belangrijke informatie gesproken, Edison ondersteunt slimme meldingen, dus zeg vaarwel aan een rommelige meldingenpagina, althans wat e-mail betreft.

Je zult niet snel antwoorden vanuit het vergrendelscherm, sorry om te zeggen. Als u wilt reageren op een e-mailmelding, moet u dit doen vanuit de Edison-app zelf. Je kunt geen frequente zoekopdrachten opslaan, maar je hebt wel vlagondersteuning met één kleur. Enkele nadelen? Je kunt gesprekken niet dempen, er is geen rich text-opmaak, geen teamondersteuning en geen optie om sjablonen te maken en op te slaan.

Enkele voordelen? Handtekeningondersteuning is hier, net als ondersteuning voor de donkere modus van iOS 13. U kunt er zelfs voor kiezen om de systeembrede donkere modus te negeren om de dingen te laten lijken zoals u dat wilt. Helaas is er geen ondersteuning voor Siri Shortcut, maar u kunt waarschuwingsgeluiden aanpassen en, zoals eerder vermeld, afmelden voor e-mails in de app.

Edison biedt u de optie om koppelingen te openen in Chrome, Safari en via de in-app browser en blokkeert automatisch trackers. U kunt niet alleen verzonden e-mails ongedaan maken, Edison laat u beslissen hoe lang die ongedaan-optie zal duren. Je kunt ook adressen blokkeren waarvan je niet meer wilt horen, en alle berichten worden automatisch gecodeerd, een belangrijk pluspunt als je je zorgen maakt over privacy.

De ontwikkelaars van Edison zorgen ervoor dat ze de app regelmatig bijwerken, maar staan ​​u niet toe een voorkeurstaal in te stellen via de app Instellingen. Je vindt hier filters om het vinden van specifieke e-mails veel gemakkelijker te maken, maar nog geen volledige pagina-schermafbeeldingen.

Hoewel je Snelle acties op e-mails kunt gebruiken, verschijnen deze opties alleen voor apparaten met 3D Touch. Haptic Touch werkt nog niet, dus niet-3D Touch iPhones zien alleen Quick Actions op het startschermpictogram. Dat gezegd hebbende, de opties die bij Snelle acties voor het startschermpictogram horen, zijn gewoon uitstekend. Met niet veel apps kun je Snelle acties helemaal aanpassen. These options include New Message, Search, Attachments, Travel, Packages, Bills and Receipts, and Entertainment.

You can protect your valuable emails with Face ID or Touch ID, so even if someone manages to gain access to your iPhone, they won't be able to open Edison. Unfortunately, there is no custom font support here, nor any calendar or third-party app integration, but there are plenty of pros to outweigh those cons.

App 5: myMail

MyMail may not be as intelligent as Outlook or as feature-rich as Spark, but it's definitely a capable email client for anyone looking for something new. You might not find the most focused inbox around, but you will get some great features that make managing email a breeze.

Intelligent features are where myMail disappoints in comparison to the other apps on this list. First, myMail does not feature either a Smart Inbox or bundles. While you can schedule emails, you can't snooze emails, which means you can't tell myMail to view messages at a later time. And there's no VIP mailbox, which means you can't sort incoming emails from your important senders into a focused inbox.

Where MyMail shines is with app features. The app tops the others on this list by offering five swipe actions, and they all come with one swipe, whereas actions are typically split between left and right swipes. Searching is another area where MyMail makes up. The app lets you select all when searching, and while you can't quick select multiple emails, you can search attachments, and delete search results in bulk.

MyMail doesn't offer draft hiding, but it does have its own widget, an upgrade from the last time we reviewed the app. You won't find automatic smart notifications, but you can tweak notifications settings in-app to make sure the notifications you receive are from senders you care about.

The lack of a quick reply from the lock screen is disappointing, but, to be fair, not many apps have this feature. You can save frequent searches, and get one color of flag support, but there are some missing features; you can't mute conversations; there's no rich text formatting; no teams; and no templates. You can use signatures, but myMail hasn't updated to support iOS 13 dark mode. That said, you can choose between two themes, however, both are light rather than dark.

MyMail doesn't offer support for Siri Shortcuts, which could be a bummer if you enjoy that extra level of efficiency. That said, you can customize your alert sounds, and unsubscribe to emails directly in-app. MyMail offers browser support for Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and its own in-app browser. Missing here is the ability to block trackers, undo sent messages, and block addresses you don't want to hear from.

Interestingly, myMail offers encryption on its platform, meaning your emails are secure to your device. The app stays regularly updated, and offers 25 preferred languages in Settings. You can use filters to, well, filter through your emails, but you can't take full-page screenshots at the moment.

MyMail does not include Quick Action support in-app. The app only includes Quick Actions on the home screen icon. However, there is Face ID and Touch ID security in myMail, which, coupled with its encryption, makes myMail a strong choice when it comes to privacy.

MyMail, much like Edison or Mail, lags behind with integration. For one, there are no custom font options here. MyMail also supports neither calendar nor third-party app integration, meaning you need to jump between the apps you want to work in when using MyMail.

In short, MyMail is a great email client, as are the other four on this list. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, with some featuring excellent options yet missing others that are found in different apps. It's really about weighing the differences and finding the app that best suits your needs. And when those apps happen to all be free, there's no excuse not to test them all out.

Cover image, screenshots, and GIF by Jake Peterson/Gadget Hacks

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