Keeping up with your email can be a real pain. Not only do most of us complain about being buried in messages, we might have several inboxes — one for work, one for personal communications and (if you’re smart) a separate account you use to sign up for services that later will spam you with ads, deals and newsletters.
Sure, the mail app on your smartphone or tablet works fine, but plenty of third-party apps can make handling email easier. Here are two of the best ones.
The Best Email App for Android: myMail
Instead of forcing you to access your various email accounts in separate apps such as Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook or the email app that came loaded on your device, myMail lets you aggregate everything in one place.
The app's clean interface shows circular avatars to the left of the messages in your inbox that include the sender's photo, first letter of his or her name or the company logo.
The thing I appreciate most about myMail is how easy it is to use. When you swipe left on any message in your inbox queue, a ribbon appears that lets you tap once to mark a message read or unread, move it to a folder, mark it as spam, delete it or mark a message to find it more easily.
You can also swipe the entire list of messages in a particular inbox to the right in order to access a dashboard showing you which account you’re in, the folders and subfolders in each and your personal settings.
You can add a custom signature to your outgoing messages, adjust what times of the day you want to receive notifications, and turn on a novel feature that lets you “Hide the Sender” and “Hide the Subject” so that other people can’t see who’s emailing you if you leave your device lying around. You can choose to download attachments automatically or select them manually if you want to save on data use.
Overall, myMail is a simple app if you have more than one email account and like tapping and swiping to manage your messages.
The Best Email App for iOS: Boxer
Even though Boxer launched less than a year ago, it’s become a popular, highly rated app for good reason.
One thing that’s particularly nice about Boxer is how it lets you manage your mail with one or two taps or swipes. For instance, a short swipe on an email calls up a grid of nine action options, including adding the email to a to-do list, sending it to the archive, marking it as spam, adding to it a label or quickly responding to it with a choice of a handful of prewritten responses such as “I’ve added this to my to-do list” or “Can you give me a little more detail?” Boxer also includes a unique feature that lets you “like” a message, which fires off a reply to a sender telling them so.
Customization is another place Boxer stands out. If you’re vigilant about marking things as spam or deleting or archiving messages as soon as you no longer need them, you can configure Boxer to do these things with one swipe (whether you prefer a long or short swipe to the right or left). Boxer includes push notifications you can set to notify you when messages arrive either immediately, at varying intervals or not at all.
Boxer also integrates with SaneBox, a cloud email filtering service that analyzes your inbox to see if you’re connected with senders on social media platforms or if you’ve ever replied to a message before in order to determine which messages to prioritize. SaneBox (free for a two-week trial, then $6 per month) tucks messages it deems less important into a separate folder you can peruse later.
The premium version of Boxer gives you the ability to import messages from multiple email accounts, use email aliases, employ a passcode lock, save content directly to Box and Dropbox, use custom signatures and write custom quick replies.