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Sponsored App Review: MailDroid

July 14, 2015 - Written By Tom Dawson

Since its launch, Android has always been a great platform to do email with, most likely because it had Gmail pre-installed, but also because of its open nature. There’s now a good selection of great email clients to choose from on Android, regardless of which email provider you actually use. MailDroid has been around for some time now, and it offers a whole lot for those looking to take back control of their inboxes, including the likes of custom rules, a client-side spam filter and a more traditional menu layout. MailDroid can be used with the usual suspects of free online services like Hotmail, Yahoo email, FastMail, Gmail email, AOL Mail, iCloud Mail, rediffmail, GMX Mail, Gawab mail, Runbox mail etc as well as IMAP servers. With PGP support as well as sMIME and other plugins available, MailDroid is also a secure mail client, too. So, let’s take a closer look, shall we?

As with all other Android apps, it’s best to download MailDroid from the Play Store. Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to set up your mail account.

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I’m a staunch Gmail user, and live my life through it, I also use two-factor authentication as well. Thankfully, MailDroid made it super-easy getting an auth token, launching the handy Google+ sign-in method, which meant I didn’t have to open another app. Those that might have used MailDroid in the past and have upgraded or want to try the new version out can import settings from their device to get back up and running. This makes it easy to keep all of your settings safe and sound (exporting them can be done from within the app). The release notes are second on the agenda, and go to show that there’s a lot of activity here regarding updates and such.

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Here is a look at the general Inbox view (I’ve blanked out some message content for obvious reasons).

MailDroid Inbox

 

On the whole, navigation is pretty simple here, but sadly, there’s no automatic filtering of messages. Now, this is both good and bad – depending on your outlook. After all, MailDroid has never seen any of your information, so how can it know which is a “Promotion” and not? The good news is that MailDroid features some excellent custom rules abilities, giving you total control over your inbox while on the move. To get access to all of your rules, and a central place to add rules, just head on over to ‘Settings – Advanced’ and you can add and adjust rules.

MailDroid Rules

You can add rules with all sorts of different criteria, like the sender’s URL, what time of the day email comes in and you can add a number of different actions beyond just moving them to a particular folder. You can choose a specific notification sound, for instance. You can also quickly create a rule while in your inbox, too:

MailDroid Rule

So, for those that want to take back control of their inbox, MailDroid offers powerful, simple to setup rules for those looking to tame incoming messages. Another feature that MailDroid can offer is improved security. Here’s a look at the compose windows in MailDroid, there’s a very easy to use WYSIWYG editor here, and this allows you to quickly apply emphasis to your messages.

MailDroid editor

Things could look better here, granted, but you’ll noticed the encryption option at the bottom there. You can use this to secure your message before sending it.

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You’ll need the Crypto plugin for this, which is free and can be found here, but it’s an excellent inclusion and one office and business users will find very helpful, indeed.

Talking of Inbox management, users can easily search for things whenever they like. Folders and rules to make good use of them are nice and easy to setup as well.

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Along with the aforementioned custom rules, users can sign up for a 21-day free trial of MailDroid’s own spam filter. This uses a custom algorithm to figure out whether or not something is Spam and it will also compare the IP address of the sender to those on an established database as well. All you need to know can be found in the Help section of the app.

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MailDroid is an app that has oodles on offer. I was originally willing to write off the app as entirely too much work, but then I took a step back and remembered not everyone is as entrenched with Gmail as I am. For those that want to manage their own email address hosted on their servers, or manage a work email address, MailDroid is perfect for this sort of thing. The custom rules allow users to have exact and total control over how their incoming mail is handled, and it helps to speed things up immensely once you have your own settings all in order. I’m not a massive fan of the overall look and feel, and would have loved to see more of a Material Design look and feel here, but work is ongoing with the new look and feel. Moreover, everything is nice and straightforward. There are no jumping through hoops or anything like that, and while it’s true MailDroid is an app for those more involved with staying on top of their mail, this is suitable for anyone that wants a different experience from the poor built-in mail apps on Android devices these days.

Ratings

  • Speed (4/5) – MailDroid runs well, and I never came across any major performance issues or anything like that.
  • Features (4/5) – It might not feel quite as modern as some mail clients, but it has a secure element ready to go, it has a great spam filter and the custom rules allow users to take back control of their inbox however they see fit.
  • Theme (4/5) – I wish that MailDroid had more of a Material Design theme to it, but there’s little to complain about here, except for perhaps the large font sizes. A redesign is in the works, though.
  • Overall (4/5) – With an emphasis on security and total control over your inbox, there’s a lot on offer here with MailDroid that you just won’t find elsewhere, and it’s a good app for those with particular needs or those that don’t want Google or anyone else getting in the way.

Pros

  • Works well in both portrait and landscape mode, perfect for those with larger displays.
  • Secure element is both free, and readily available to help encrypt sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands.
  • Custom rules give users an opportunity to take back control of their inboxes on their own terms.
  • Built-in spam filter offers some solid and effective filtering methods that some people will be glad of.

Cons

  • Overall look and feel could be considered a little dated.
  • Notifications, especially those on Android Wear, don’t offer much in the way of functionality, but work is underway for these.

All-in-all, MailDroid is definitely an app for those that want total control over their inboxes, and that’s not a bad thing at all. In fact, I wish there were more apps out there like this one that gave users total control over filtering and better spam catching. It won’t be for everyone, but MailDroid is a great option for those that want to take back control of their inboxes on their own terms. Not to mention some of the best security options available in an email client on Android.

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