Editor’s Note: This post has been updated with our picks for 2017.
With over a billion active users, Gmail is the largest email service in the world and 75 percent of its users check their email via their mobile device. That said, it’s not necessarily best to use the Gmail app to access your email. Nor is it always best to use the email apps that come stock with your smartphone’s software, like Apple Mail. There are superior email apps available that can better align with your needs, whether you’re a Gmail user or not. Here are five to try and why.
Email by EasilyDo
Best for Speed and Organization: In early 2016, Easilydo, developers of the eponymous personal assistant app, launched Email — and yes, their smart assistant comes stock. The app manages all your current email inboxes (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc.) at once, even allowing you to search through all your inboxes in one fell swoop. The smart assistant comes into play by giving you real-time alerts — “Your flight is delayed” — and automatically categorizes your email — into divisions like subscriptions, packages, bills and receipts — to keep you organized. Plus, it’s lightning fast.
Inbox by Gmail
Most Organized Gmail App: When Google launched Inbox by Gmail last year, it was meant to simplify Gmail. And it worked. Inbox is easy to manage; a simple swipe can either delete or snooze an email. Plus Inbox automatically displays preview images or text from email attachments. Users can check in to flights, accept calendar invites and see shipping information for packages all without opening the email. Switching between Gmail accounts is easy, but you still have to switch. There’s no communal dump for all emails between all your accounts.
Best Productivity Email App: One of Spark’s specialties is organization. The email app features a smart inbox that automatically categorizes new, pinned and newsletter emails and more. By grouping them this way, it allows you to mark a number of emails as “read” in one fell swoop. It also connects all your different inboxes (it’s compatible with Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, iCloud and more) in one location, so no more switching between accounts. The app also connects Dropbox, iCloud, Drive, OneDrive, Evernote and several other major cloud services, meaning that you can easily attach/save files to/from emails. And because we all use email different, Spark is customizable. Don’t like swiping left to archive emails? You can change that.
Best Personalized Email App: Airmail is the most customizable email app you’ll find for iOS; its interface appears fairly standard at first, but is open to a ton of personalization. Swipes can be changed in dozens of ways, and the way emails appear in your inbox can also be changed as well: email subject lines can be made to appear highlighted, sender icons can be toggled, and the amount of lines that appear in the preview can be adjusted. Additionally, Airmail syncs everything you’d expect, including Google Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox.
Best Business Integration: We all know Outlook. And while it can get a stale rap (Outlook for business, Gmail for pleasure), this email app brilliantly syncs your smartphone’s calendar and Office 365. Scheduling meetings and attaching important files is seamless and easy. You can also access all your files on Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive. And despite it being mostly business focused, it’s more than capable of handling your personal email as well.