The best free and open-source alternatives to Gmail on Android

There are a number of causes you would possibly need to use an open supply various to an app like Gmail. Privateness, safety, and supporting open supply improvement prime the record, however the easy truth is that an app like Gmail, on the finish of the day, must generate income for Google to ensure that the service to price offering. It additionally has to serve a vastly numerous person base with tons of wants and expectations about e-mail you could not have, the place an easier, extra stripped down e-mail expertise would just do as nicely. Listed here are a couple of Gmail options for Android which are completely free and open supply.

Why does open-source matter?

Free and open-source software program (FOSS) has a number of benefits, however to most individuals, the primary profit is privateness. All of the code is out within the open, so anybody with programming data can undergo it and see precisely what an app is doing. Proprietary apps can typically really feel like black bins, the place you do not actually know what is going on on behind the scenes. That is hardly ever the case with FOSS.

I say ‘nearly,’ as a result of there’s technically nothing stopping open-source apps from spying on you, however that habits is extraordinarily uncommon. If a developer is doing one thing they don’t seem to be imagined to be, like spying on customers or bundling malware, they most likely would not announce it to the world.

Many individuals merely favor open-source apps out of precept, in the identical manner that some folks favor procuring at locally-owned shops as an alternative of Walmart or Goal. These apps are sometimes created by people or small teams of their spare time, versus giant corporations with earnings generated from promoting or enterprise capital.

All of those apps are merely shoppers for exterior e-mail companies, like Gmail and Outlook, so you will not enhance your privateness by merely utilizing one in all these apps as an alternative of Gmail for Android. Nevertheless, these apps do supply options like e-mail monitoring blockers, they usually may go on gadgets with out Google Play Companies.


FairMail is a more recent e-mail app, because it first arrived on the Play Retailer earlier this yr. Created by Marcel Bokhorst, the developer of NetGuard firewall, it is a pretty highly effective e-mail utility. It helps limitless synced accounts, a unified inbox, dialog threading, and extra. It even works equally to Gmail, with a swipe to the left archiving a message.

There are a couple of good privateness options in FairEmail work stating. By default, messages are opened in a ‘secure view,’ which removes scripts, exterior photos, and different parts that would doubtlessly be used to trace you. For instance, services that track if you opened a particular message will not work with secure view on. FairEmail additionally helps OpenPGP signing, and would not have any built-in ads or analytics.

If you find yourself liking FairMail, there may be an non-obligatory Professional model you may unlock for a $5.99 in-app buy. Professional offers you superior notification settings, snoozing, scheduled sending, reply templates, biometric assist, a unified inbox residence display widget, and much more. Truthfully, $6 is a steal for all the things included.

The one draw back to FairMail is that it provides a persistent notification for syncing, however you may merely mute the ‘Service’ notification channel within the Android settings to cover it, and it’ll proceed to work (or at the very least, it labored for me). Additionally, Alternate servers aren’t supported, solely IMAP and POP3.

FairEmail - open source, privacy oriented email
FairEmail - open source, privacy oriented email

Ok-9 Mail

Ok-9 Mail is the traditional open-source e-mail app for Android. Though there hasn’t been a serious replace shortly, it is nonetheless the best choice for many individuals, particularly because it helps Microsoft Alternate servers (2003/2007 with WebDAV). Ok-9 Mail additionally serves as the bottom for a lot of different e-mail apps.

Ok-9 Mail has all of the options you’d anticipate in a mail utility, like assist for a number of accounts, a search perform, multi-folder sync, flagging, signatures, OpenPGP encryption, and extra. The interface leaves lots to be desired — I have not seen a Holo app in a lengthy time — but it surely’s useful. In equity, model is in development right now with an overhauled UI.

Except you want one thing that’s solely provided by Ok-9 Mail, I’d most likely go together with FairMail as an alternative, since that app has a extra trendy design. It is at all times good to have extra choices, although.

K-9 Mail
K-9 Mail