Aqua Mail has completely ruined the old epithet that it is better to travel than arrive. Over the years I have liked nothing better to try out a wide range of Android email apps and finding their strengths and weaknesses before moving onto the next one. Aqua Mail has screwed that by being the best email app I have come across and will probably always be my email app of choice. The reasons are many and varied.
First, Aqua Mail has so many configuration options you will be lost for choice, well around 300 choices to be accurate. Whether it is changes in the interface you want to make or the way the app itself handles emails, there is an option that you will eventually find that suits you. I say eventually, because it took me several weeks of tweaking to get it just right.
Let me throw in two spoilers before going any further. Aqua Mail at a tad under $20 is not the cheapest email app for Android devices. Having said that, as a one-off payment it is far cheaper than having to fork out $50 a year for Newton. I was a long-term Newton user and probably qualified as a fan boy, but in its latest incarnation after several buy-outs the development cycle was too slow to warrant the cost. Aqua Mail in the 12 months or so I have been using it has had four or five updates.
The second as highlighted on the Aqua Mail support forum is some users criticised the developers for using trackers. In fact, the debate become quite heated and almost abusive, but the developers kept the posts live so anyone can view the accusations and responses. This, to be, shows the company is happy to be transparent and didn’t delete the posts. Also, as far as I can see, the trackers existed in the free version’s adverts and removed in the paid for pro version.
Let’s put some meat on the bones. Aqua Mail works with all email formats such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, FastMail, Apple, GMX, AOL and MS Exchange.
On its Mobisystems developers’ website, Aqua Mail lists the following features:
- Multiple email providers: Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, FastMail, Apple, GMX, AOL and more.
- Mail accounts hosted at: Google Apps, Yahoo BizMail, Office 365, Exchange Online and others
- Use of a “more secure” login method (OAUTH2) for Yahoo / Gmail / Hotmail.
- Backup and restore feature via popular cloud services (Dropbox, OneDrive, Box and Google Drive) or a file.
- Integration with popular third-party apps providing maximum control, synergy and customizability, including Light Flow, Enhanced SMS & Caller ID, Cloud Print, Apex Launcher Pro, Nova Launcher / Tesla Unread, Executive Assistant, DashClock Widget, Tasker and more.
- Push mail for most mail services (except Yahoo) and self-hosted IMAP servers, also for Exchange and Office 365 (corporate mail).
- Home screen widgets including message counter and message list.
- Use our Smart Folder feature to easily navigate and manage your emails.
- Calendar sync for Exchange and Office 365 (use any Calendar app or widgets).
- Contacts sync for Exchange and Office 365 (visible in Aqua Mail and in the Contacts app. Includes auto-complete and lookup in the corporate directory).
- The rich text editor, styling choices and a large number of formatting options, including embedding images will help you create the perfect email.
- With the signature support you can attach a separate signature to each mail account and include images, links and text formatting.
- Notifications and reply via voice input from an Android wear smartwatch.
- Pick from the four available Themes and use the numerous other customization options to change how the app looks and operates.
- Separate network connection setting for WiFi and mobile data ensures optimum performance and cost-effectiveness.
- Push mail for Exchange servers (corporate email) and Office 365
- Add multiple accounts
- Use identities
- Remove the Aqua Mail promo signature in outgoing messages
Aqua Mail acknowledges the need for security and messages are not stored on their servers and it has fortified our user privacy by adding support for S/MIME encryption and signing (for IMAP & POP3).
With the free version you are limited to one or two email accounts and you have to accept advertisements, while going Pro means you can have unlimited accounts (I had nine going at one stage!) and the adverts are removed.
The one thing that is mssing with Aqua Mail is while it links with MS Exchange calendars, it doesn’t allow me to link to my Android calendar of choice Business Calendar 2. But then I might have missed this option in the 300 odd configuration tweaks available!