The 20 Best Email Apps for 2018

Jill Duffy
Jill Duffy / May 3, 2018

Email is, in many ways, the digital hub of modern life. We use it to communicate with colleagues and friends, confirm appointments, save receipts, and restore forgotten passwords. At the same time, checking your inbox shouldn't be the focal point of your day, even though odds are you feel less stressed when you have fewer unread messages.

The best email apps help you manage the most important aspects of your digital life without making them more complicated. Some let you turn your inbox into a to-do list. Others are deeply customizable, giving you greater control.

What Makes a Great Email App?

For this list of the best email apps, we only considered email clients, leaving out email services and email assistant apps. An email client is a piece of software you install on your computer or mobile device to access email, even if that email is hosted by another service. An example is the Mail app that comes pre-installed on iOS devices. By way of the Mail app, you can access a Gmail account and a Yahoo Mail account. Gmail and Yahoo Mail in this case would be email services, which we did not consider for this list of the best email apps. Client apps almost always let you access multiple email accounts, giving you the option to see all your messages in one consolidate view.

We also homed in on email apps for personal use, which nixed from consideration a few apps that tend to be more prominent in the business world, such as Microsoft Outlook (desktop app) and IBM Notes. They both have their place among email aficionados but tend to be more well suited for organizations than individuals.

As mentioned, we did not consider email assistant apps, or services that work within your existing email to make it better in some targeted way. An example is SaneBox, a service that works inside your existing email service to automatically sorts incoming messages (among other things). Another example is Boomerang, which adds new features and tools to Gmail and Outlook that help improve your writing and help you remember when to follow-up on messages. Both these apps are highly capable, but they aren't clients and so they weren't considered for this list.

There can be some confusion about email clients and services, however, because some apps cover both ground. Gmail, for instance, is not just an email service but also has a mobile email client app by the same name. The Gmail mobile app lets you read and reply to messages from not only your Gmail account, but also your Yahoo Mail address, Microsoft Office 365 account, and others.

In addition to being an email client, the apps in this list meet other criteria, such as being in a state of full release. In other words, no beta products allowed. Ease of use played a major role in our decision-making, as did stability. We also looked for apps that had at least one standout feature or reason for choosing it, which is listed below in the "best for" line in each app's description below.

When it comes to email apps, there's no reason you can't choose several to use for different purposes. You might have one app you adore installed on your personal computer, something else for work email, and yet another for mobile devices. Which ones you choose will depend on how you like to interact with your email and what you do with it. Whatever the case, the best email apps have you covered.

The 20 Best Email Apps



Best for Customizing Your Inbox

Airmail started out as a simple email app, but over time, it grew with features, and today it's one of the most powerful email client apps available. Customizable notifications make sure you only get alerts when you receive emails from your most important contacts. Swipe gestures are also customizable. Airmail can help you write faster, with built-in templates for your most-used responses. And, it works with your favorite productivity apps, including Fantastical, Evernote, OmniFocus, Dropbox, and others.

Supported Platforms: iOS, macOS

Price: $4.99, $9.99



Best for Typing in Snippets

For people in the "less is more" camp, Dispatch is an attractive email app. This iOS-only client helps you reply to emails quickly by letting you use snippets, or auto-generated words and phrases you write often. In other words, it essentially gives you the functionality of a text expander inside a mobile email app. Dispatch also has tools designed to help you reach inbox zero, such as swipe gestures for archiving messages. If you don't want to reply or archive a message, the app still encourages you to take action on them somehow, with other simple tools for sending mail to other productivity apps you use.

Available on: iOS

Price: $6.99


Edison Mail

Best for Categorizing Messages Automatically

Edison Mail is a mobile email client app designed to give you assistance with sorting and organizing your email. It can automatically sort incoming messages into appropriate groups, such as messages that contain tracking numbers for shipping, those pertaining to subscriptions, and receipts. An undo-send button gives the app universal appeal, and option to turn off read receipts make Edison even more valuable to people to like to be in control of their email. Don't confuse this app with the Edison Assistant (formerly called EasilyDo or Smart Assistant by EasilyDo), as the latter is does more to help you organize your life beyond email alone.

Available on: Android, iOS

Price: free


eM Client

Best for Merging Email, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks

If you're looking for a powerhouse of an email app for Windows, eM Client is a great option. It not only combines email, calendar, contacts, and tasks in one place, but also supports touch interfaces. While the price for a Pro account may sound a little steep, eM Client offers some functionality that's rarely found in other email apps, such as language translation. That's reason enough to choose eM Client if you frequently send and receive messages in multiple languages and aren't fluent in all of them.

Available on: Windows

Price: free; $49.95 for Pro


Gmail Mobile

Best for Searching and Organizing Messages

While Gmail is the gold standard among webmail services, its mobile app is surprisingly light on features. But that's not the deciding factor on whether to choose the Gmail app for your phone. The real selling point of this app is how fast and capable it is at searching even the most bloated inboxes. When you use it with a Gmail account (or two; it supports multiple Gmail addresses), you get the same great options for automatically sorting mail into tabs that the service creates for you: Primary, Social, and Updates. With limitless ways to sort mail with filters and labels and exceptional spam filtering, Gmail makes it a breeze to see your most important messages quickly.

Available on: Android, iOS

Price: free



Best for Making Email More Like Messaging

If you prefer text messaging or team chat to email, Hop is worth a try. This email client for Android and iOS devices turns message threads into chat-like conversations, so your emails look less like a verbose expanse of text and more like what you see in iMessage or WhatsApp, with GIFs, voice memos, one-tap image sharing, and everything else you'd expect in a chat app. And similar to team chat apps, Hop lets you create channels for organizing conversations around a certain topic. Hop works best when you use it to message with other people who are also using it, too.

Available on: Android, iOS

Price: free

Google Inbox

Inbox by Gmail

Best for Turning Gmail Into a To-do List

Inbox by Gmail gives you a different way to experience Gmail. The app does two things. First, it automatically sorts incoming mail. Second, it turns messages into tasks, making your inbox more like a to-do list. On the sorting front, Inbox by Gmail bundles your trips, purchase receipts, and promotions into groups so you view or archive them in bulk with ease. You can add your own bundles, to group work messages and more automatically. Additionally, you can pin important emails to the top of your inbox, snooze messages until you need them, and write new tasks that you can manage right alongside your emails.

Available on: Android, iOS, web

Price: free; requires Gmail account


Mail and Calendar by Microsoft

Best for Keeping Email Simple

Mail and Calendar by Microsoft is a Windows desktop app that keeps email simple. Formerly called Outlook Express, this app covers the basics of email without adding excessive features. It offers threaded email conversations, notifications, and flags to mark your most important messages, along with Outlook-style calendar integration. It's also touch-enabled. If you're a Windows users who prefers to not be distracted by added features, it's a good option.

Available on: Windows (Outlook Mobile is considered the mobile version of this app)

Price: free


Mail by Apple

Best for Annotating Images, Signing Documents

The Mail app that comes preinstalled on iOS devices and most Macs may seem like a basic email client, but its simplicity belies the powerful tools under the hood. With its Markup tools, you can add annotations to images and sign documents right from your inbox. You can also use Apple's Mail Drop feature (the same one that works with iCloud) to send extremely large attachments without it eating into your allotted email storage space.

Available on: iOS, macOS

Price: included with Mac and iOS devices



Best for Increasing Productivity With Integrations

Mailbird is a Windows email app with a contemporary design. You can personalize your inbox with custom layouts and sidebar themes. It also includes integration options with popular productivity apps, such as Asana, Todoist, Slack, and others. While rich with features, such as the ability to snooze messages until later and automated scrolling for speed readers, some advanced capabilities are restricted to higher tiers of service. For example, an undo send option is only available to Mailbird Business subscribers.

Available on: Windows

Price: free limited version, $12/month for Pro, $39 for lifetime Pro, $20/month per person for Business



Best for Composing in Markdown

Well suited for those who love plain text and keyboard shortcuts, MailMate lets you jump through your inbox without lifting your fingers from the keyboard. It also supports Markdown formatting and unique views, such as the ability to surface all messages that are similar to the message you're currently viewing. MailMate is perhaps the best Mac email app for power users who value plain text over features such as snooze and undo send.

Available on: macOS

Price: $49.99



Best for Integrating With Amazon Echo

Formerly called CloudMagic, Newton has all the same features found in the best mail apps: the ability to snooze messages, schedule when an email will send, see details about your contacts, integrate with apps, and receive a notification when messages you've sent have been opened. The best thing about Newton, however, is that Amazon Echo can go through your emails for you when you set up Newton's Alexa skill. Say, "Alexa, ask Newton who just mailed me," and she'll follow suit.

Available on: Android, iOS, macOS, Windows

Price: $49.99/year


Outlook Mobile

Best for Viewing a Focused Inbox

While the Outlook desktop app is as powerful as it is bloated with features, the Outlook Mobile app offers quite a different experience. When you use it with a Microsoft email account, you can take advantage of its Focused Inbox view, which automatically finds emails that are likely to be important to you and filters out other distracting messages, keeping them in a tab called Other. The Outlook mobile app also has customizable swipe gestures for deleting, archiving, marking as read, flagging, moving, and snoozing messages (the snooze function is actually called "schedule," but it would be snooze in any other app).

Available on: Android, iOS

Price: free



Best for Collaborating With a Sales Team

Polymail's strong suit is that you can use it collaboratively, especially among sales teams. Create email templates, for example, and you can share them with everyone on a team. For groups that use Salesforce, you can connect the two apps and get information you need from Salesforce while writing messages. Teams can also track email stats together to see how much time everyone spends in their inboxes, or how likely each person is to get a reply. Another great feature is Polymail's ability to watch and report back when recipients open your messages, and who among them downloads attachments you send. You'll also notice in the chart below that Polymail is packed with features, everything from the ability to snooze a message until later to an undo send button.

Available on: iOS, macOS, web

Price: free; paid plans from $13/month



Best for Organizing Multiple Inboxes

Since its inception as a spin-off of Mozilla's Thunderbird, Postbox has grown into a powerful app, rich with options for keeping your mail organized. A tabbed interface lets you keep multiple messages open at once. Tags and folders help you categorize and sort mail. Another stellar capability is how Postbox can display a contact info sidebar, letting you dig into the detail about the sender. There's a lot to explore in this powerful and well designed app.

Available on: macOS, Windows

Price: $40



Best for Cutting Down Time Spent in Email

Every email doesn't need a lengthy reply. Sometimes a thumbs-up or crying face is all you need. With Spark, that's all you have to send, and in the end, that saves you time. After you read an email, tap Quick Reply to send an instant emoji response and archive the message in one step. Spark also saves you time in how it handles calendar invitations. Instead of a standard invite email, Spark shows you a preview of the event in your calendar with Accept and Reject options. This app has a wealth of other features, too, such as undo send, snooze, reminders, and more.

Available on: iOS, macOS

Price: free



Best for Working in Tabs

From the makers of Firefox comes an email application that copies one of the best features of web browsers: tabs. Thunderbird isn't the only email client to use a tabbed interface, but it is one of the best. When you quit the app, Thunderbird saves your open tabs and reloads them the next time you launch it. An extensive collection of add-ons let you expand what Thunderbird can do.

Available on: Linux, macOS, Windows

Price: free


Triage: Email First Aid

Best for Processing Messages Quickly on iOS

Swipe up to archive, swipe down to keep, tap to reply, and plow through your unread messages. The iOS app Triage is designed to make getting through your inbox quick and relatively painless. It's a great option if you are into the inbox zero mindset. The app's name and tagline ("first aid for your inbox") captures the idea that you can use Triage when your email situation becomes critical. While it may not be your go-to email app daily, Triage is one of the best options for taking decisive action to curb an overwhelming inbox no matter where you are.

Available on: iOS

Price: $1.99



Best for Grouping Messages by Sender

Unibox turns email into a communication form that's extremely similar to messaging. It does so in part by grouping your emails by contact. Instead of seeing a list of unread messages, Unibox sorts your messages based on who's sent you one recently. You can tap a contact to see every message you've sent back and forth in a chat-style conversation view, then quickly reply from the top of your conversation list. There's nothing to organize and no pressure to clean out your inbox. All you'll have to do is look who's been in touch lately.

Available on: iOS, macOS

Price: $13.99


VMware Boxer

Best for Customizing Email for Mobile

VMware Boxer, also known simply as Boxer, takes a mobile-first approach to email. A highly customizable interface lets you assign different actions to swipe gestures. As with most email client apps, you can consolidate messages from a variety of email services, such as Gmail and, into one view. Boxer is also great for putting your calendar and contacts' information right into the same app where you process email, so there's less flipping back and forth to find a free time to meet.

Available on: Android, iOS

Price: free

Originally published 2 June 2015 by Paula DuPont; updated in 2017 and 2018 with new apps current information. Zapier senior writer and editor Matthew Guay contributed to this article.

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