Best email client
Email remains an important form of communication, more formal than a text, tweet or instant message, while obviously being much faster than ‘snail mail’, which may explain why email volume continues to increase. Indeed, a recent estimate claimed that something like 269 billion emails are sent daily.
Most of us likely have multiple email accounts with online providers such as Gmail, Outlook.com or Yahoo, which can be used online via their corresponding websites (also known as webmail), or by using mobile apps.
Managing and coordinating multiple accounts can quickly become a chore, and that is where an email client becomes a useful solution to sync all your messaging in one place. An email client can also offer additional features, such as enhanced security, or the ability to back up messages. We’ve picked out six of the best email clients in this article.
Microsoft’s Outlook is the de facto email client for most businesses and enterprises, and has been around for decades, with its origins dating back to MS-DOS. Obviously it has tight integration with other Microsoft services, and that takes email beyond the simple exchange of messages.
Outlook has the advantage of being fully integrated with the Outlook Calendar, making it a snap to share calendars to coordinate meetings. This integration also extends to Outlook Contacts. Outlook is supported for the Windows platform, but also across the mobile platforms of iOS and Android as well.
Microsoft Outlook is available as part of the Microsoft Office suite, which can be purchased as the standalone Office 2016, or the subscription-based Office 365. A single user subscription to Office 365 Personal can be purchased for $6.99 (around £5, AU$9) per month or $69.99 (around £50, AU$90) for a full year.
While Outlook is a stalwart of the business world, Microsoft has long realized that it is overkill for many home users, so there’s a lightweight email client built into Windows. Way back when, this client was Outlook Express, but it has since evolved and in the latest version of Microsoft’s desktop operating system, it’s known as Mail for Windows 10.
For any Windows user, the Mail for Windows 10 client is an obvious choice, as when you log into Windows 10 with a Hotmail, Live, or Outlook.com address, the account is already added to the email client.
It can also work with other popular accounts, including Yahoo, Gmail, and iCloud. Mail for Windows 10 has a useful feature known as Quick Actions, which, for example, allows the user to easily flag or archive a message. It’s also integrated with the Windows Calendar app.
This alternative email client is trusted and used by Fortune 500 companies which include Avis, McDonald’s and Toyota.
It offers a wide array of features, including a calendar, contacts and chat. Support is provided for all the major email services including Gmail, Yahoo, iCloud and Outlook.com. The latest version of eM Client (7.1) also offers PGP encryption, live backup, and auto-replies for Gmail.
There is a free tier, but you need the Pro version for commercial use, and that also gives you VIP support and unlimited accounts (the free product is limited to two email accounts). The Pro version will set you back $49.95 (or £29.95 in the UK, which is around AU$55).
Mailbird Pro is an email client that promises to “save time managing multiple accounts,” and to make your email “easy and beautiful”.
While beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, as they say, it’s undeniable that Mailbird Pro offers many free themes to make email a more enjoyable and customizable experience.
Unlike some more Microsoft-centric email clients, Mailbird Pro supports a diverse range of integrated apps, including WhatsApp, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox and Slack, all making for a better streamlined workflow. However, one downside to bear in mind here is that there’s no support for filters or rules to organize your inbox.
The annual cost of Mailbird Pro is $9 (around £6, AU$12) for an individual, and $20 (around £14, AU$26) for a business user.
Inky is an email client that focuses on security, using “sophisticated AI, machine learning and computer vision algorithms” to block all manner of phishing attacks which might otherwise get through.
This client uses an ‘Inky Phish Fence’ that scans both internal and external emails to flag phishing attempts. The proprietary machine learning technology can literally read an email to determine if it has phishing content, and then is able to quarantine the email, or deliver it with the malicious links disabled. It also takes things a step further and offers an analytics dashboard, which allows an administrator to see patterns of attacks based on dates, or targeted users.
The Inky email client does offer a free trial, but sadly, pricing details aren’t made available on the Inky website. However, the site does note that pricing is per mailbox per month on a subscription, with volume discounts available.
TouchMail is an email client that simplifies email by making it more visual. This also makes it easier to use on a touch-based mobile device.
The goal of TouchMail is to aggregate multiple email accounts together, in a single visually attractive interface which is user-friendly. It lets you see all of the day’s emails in one place, with messages color-coded by sender for easy identification. Emails from top senders can be easily sorted and managed, too.
This client is available for the Windows 10 platform, but not for iOS or Android, sadly. TouchMail can be grabbed from the Microsoft Store, and normally retails at $29.99 (around £22, AU$39), although at the time of writing there is a sale on that gives you a third off the asking price.