Jason Ginsberg / 1.07.2023

Email client for iPhone—improve your workflow with the right solution

An email client can make or break your productivity. Learn how to choose the right email client for iPhone and check out the pros and cons of well-known apps.
iPhone app email inbox.
As much as you try to keep your work and private life separate, some emails can’t wait. When working on the go, you’ll want an email client that lets you stay updated and reply swiftly without complications. You also need an option that gives you peace of mind when sending sensitive info or attachments.Apple’s App Store offers a myriad of such apps, so how to choose the best one? Our guide will help by explaining:
  • What to look for in an email client for iPhone
  • Which popular email clients to consider
  • How to protect your online identity and correspondence
Prioritize your email safetySkiff Mail's iOS app offers end-to-end encryption, empowering you to protect your communication with no effort
Sign up

How to choose the best email client for iPhone

Most email clients look similar at first glance. You need to scratch beneath the surface to uncover the differences that significantly affect your experience. When comparing different options, you should look at:
  1. Security
  2. Organization features
  3. User interface and customization

Security above all

Emails are common targets of cyberattacks, but a reliable service can protect you from them. While this has more to do with your ESP than the client, your app of choice should be compatible with the necessary security protocols and offer features that give you complete control over your data.Traditionally, email clients used the SMTP protocol to communicate with servers. While the protocol is still in use, the lack of encryption can expose users to numerous risks, so most major clients support the TLS protocol as a more secure option.It is best if your email client supports end-to-end encryption to keep your information safe from third parties. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is another helpful feature to look for because having a separate password is a great way to prevent unauthorized access.

Inbox organization features

While many iPhone email clients support third-party integrations, it’s best if your app comes with practical built-in organization features. This way, you won’t encumber it with a bunch of add-ons that can slow it down.Your email client should let you create various labels and folders so you can keep your inbox neat. Scheduling and snoozing emails can also come in handy because it lets you give proper attention an email during your productive hours. Spam filtering is another must-have, so look for apps that minimize the need for spring cleaning.

User interface

While having an eye-pleasing email client can do wonders for productivity and fatigue reduction, UI is about more than looks. You need an intuitive option that doesn’t make you search for important and frequently-used functions.Ideally, you’ll get a balance between form and function that lets you perform mundane tasks on autopilot. Bonus points go to email clients with customization and personalization features that tailor the functionalities to your liking.

Best email clients for iPhone—features, benefits, and shortcomings

Several email clients have reached the top of the industry, so users opt for them without much thinking. To give you a deeper insight and help you make an informed decision, we’ll go over the pros and cons of five options:
  1. iCloud Mail
  2. Gmail
  3. Spark
  4. Outlook
  5. Skiff

iCloud Mail—can Apple’s native platform meet your needs?

Apple iCloud inbox.
Apple prides itself upon the cohesive ecosystem of devices and software. If you use other Apple devices like the iPad or MacBook, the default email client seems like a no-brainer. It works seamlessly across devices, letting you stay updated and productive.

Pros and cons

iCloud Mail’s main advantage is the simple, intuitive UI. From a clean-looking inbox to convenient gestures (swipes helping you perform actions more conveniently), everything runs as smoothly as you’d expect. A particularly useful feature is the iPhone's 3D touch, which lets you preview an email while leaving it unread.Despite Apple’s exclusivity when it comes to integration with other platforms, the mail app is ESP-agnostic. Besides iCloud, you can use it with major providers like Gmail or Outlook. You can add several addresses and keep the inboxes separate or sync them together.Apple has always invested heavily in security, and the iCloud mail app is no exception. All iCloud data—including emails—is end-to-end encrypted, so the risk of interceptions or data breaches is minimal.A few quirks make iCloud Mail slightly annoying. There’s no prominent button for adding an attachment, so the function is quite unintuitive. To attach a file, you must:
  1. Tap on the place in the email where you want to add the attachment
  2. Tap the arrow on the right side above the keyboard
  3. Choose the attachment type you want to add
Another drawback is the lack of support for third-party add-ons. It’s not a significant issue as the app does what it’s supposed to without them, but it can be a bit limiting for some users.
User-friendly interface, works seamlessly with other Apple devices, and supports all major ESPsAdding an attachment is inconvenient and limited support for add-ons

Gmail—does it live up to the hype?

Gmail inbox.
Source: GmailLike other options in this guide, Gmail is both an email client and a provider, so it’s important to look at it through both lenses.
Choose an email service that doesn't compromise your privacySkiff Mail's encrypted iPhone app ensures secure and intuitive email communication
Sign up

Pros and cons

As an iOS email client, Gmail is a decent option. It’s similar to iCloud Mail in terms of the overall design, though it does look more robust. Opening the side menu gives you instant access to various folders beyond the basics, such as Social, Promotions, and Scheduled.Search has always been Google’s bread and butter, so it’s no surprise that Gmail’s search function is quite thorough. You can filter the inbox based on numerous criteria to find the required info quickly.As you can imagine, your Gmail experience will be the best if you also use it as an email provider. The problem is that doing so comes at a high cost—your data. Google is infamous for tracking and storing user information, particularly if you use Gmail. You likely send lots of private information and files via email, which you don’t want your ESP to peep at.Google uses this data for various purposes, one of which is an annoying Gmail feature—ads in your inbox. While they’re not too intrusive, many users find them irrelevant and distracting.
Integrated email client and ESP, convenient organization through various folders, and comprehensive searchMajor privacy concerns and inbox ads based on your email contents and other data

Spark—all about personalization

Spark email inbox.
Spark is a comprehensive email management platform focused on customization and ease of use. It’s a solid option if you need to juggle multiple email addresses because it has numerous features that can help keep your inbox clean. It’s still not without flaws, some of which might be concerning.

Pros and cons

The best thing about Spark is that you can tailor it to your preferences and workflow requirements. It lets you color-code email accounts to conveniently separate your conversations. You can customize gestures and swipes to get four actions depending on the swipe direction and length.If you’ve been accused of checking your emails too often, the platform can help by letting you schedule email sessions. You set up a schedule, and it reminds you when it’s time to check your mail. There’s also an option to schedule sending emails and follow-ups, which comes in handy if you have clients in different time zones.Spark offers a macOS app, so you can sync it with your iPhone app to streamline your tasks. It also integrates with various productivity tools like Todoist and OmniFocus, letting you expand its usability.The main drawback of the app is a lack of privacy. Like many third-party iOS email clients, it stores user data (like login credentials) on its servers. In today’s era of growing privacy concerns, this is less than ideal, and users expect more control over personal information.Spark doesn’t have many flaws besides this, barring a limited free plan. You only get the basic features and must pay for extras like grouping emails by sender, highlighting priority emails, and adding large attachments.
Numerous customization features, scheduled email sessions, and macOS appLogin credentials stored on servers and limited free plan

Outlook—old but gold?

Outlook inbox.
Another well-known email client for personal and business use, Outlook is a long-standing platform that has amassed a wide user base. The iOS app has some handy features giving it a leg up over the competition, but it might not be for everyone.

Pros and cons

Like Gmail, Outlook lets you use the email client with Microsoft’s native ESP or a third-party address. You can switch between accounts by tapping the “Inbox” header and choosing the account from the sidebar.Outlook shows you the Focused inbox by default, which lets you see your most important emails. It automatically filters incoming emails, leaving newsletters or automatic replies in the “Other” category. You can toggle between Focused and Other directly from the inbox, a well-designed option unavailable with most other clients.Another standout feature is calendar integration. You can access the calendar from the bottom menu to schedule meetings and events. Considering its usability, this feature is surprisingly scarce among email clients.Where Outlook drops the ball is the UI design. It’s pretty dull and doesn’t follow the sleek style found in modern software. Microsoft prioritized function over form, which spoils the overall user experience.If you switch between your iPhone and desktop devices often—as most users do—you might be frustrated by the ads you’ll see on the desktop version. It’s the same issue Gmail suffers from, and the only way around it is to opt for the paid version.While doing so might make your inbox less annoying, it doesn’t remove privacy concerns. Microsoft is no stranger to data and email leaks, so Outlook might not be the first choice of security-conscious users.
Focused inbox, calendar integration, and long-standing platformOutdated and bland UI and privacy concerns

Skiff Mail—the most secure email app for iPhone

Source: SkiffSkiff is a privacy-first email service helping every user take back control over their data. Using robust end-to-end encryption and a suite of useful features, the platform can supercharge your productivity while keeping your correspondence safe from prying eyes.

Pros and cons

Skiff mail uses advanced hybrid cryptography to ensure only you and the recipient can see the contents of your emails. The platform doesn’t store decryption keys or login credentials, so not even Skiff’s team can access emails or monitor your traffic. All sensitive information is stored on your device, ensuring the complete security of your data.The cutting-edge technology is packed in a minimalistic, user-friendly interface that lets you breeze through tasks without friction. If you need to find a specific piece of info, Skiff’s search function will ensure you waste no time. Unlike many competitors, the platform offers unlimited searches for free.If you’ve jumped on the Web3 bandwagon, Skiff is an excellent companion. It integrates seamlessly with major crypto wallets:
  • Coinbase Wallet
  • MetaMask
  • Brave Wallet
  • Keplr Wallet
Use your wallet to sign in, and you can keep your communication and transactions completely anonymous.Skiff is open source, so users can inspect the code and review the platform’s encryption protocol. You can also browse the whitepaper to look under the hood and see how the service protects your privacy and security.If you need to manage multiple accounts, Skiff offers aliases you can use to consolidate your conversations. The paid version lets you set up custom domains to solidify your online identity.Keep in mind that Skiff—like other ESPs—can’t protect you if your device is compromised. You’ll learn how to minimize the chances of this happening a bit later in this guide.
End-to-end encryption, beautifully-designed UI, and crypto wallet integrationCan’t protect the data on a compromised device

Sign up for Skiff and leverage a rich suite of tools

Getting started with Skiff is easy and involves three quick steps:
  1. Go to the signup page
  2. Create a free account
  3. Explore Skiff Mail and other privacy-first products
Skiff offers a secure alternative to Google Workspace or Office 365 with three products beyond email:With 10 GB of free storage and various collaboration features, Skiff can boost your productivity while ensuring your private files are only accessible to approved parties.

How to fortify your iPhone’s security

Using the best secure email app for iPhone won’t matter much if you leave your device exposed to cyber-attacks. The good news is that you can stay safe in the online world by following a few tips:
  1. Avoid public networks
  2. Don’t jailbreak your iPhone or install shady apps
  3. Follow proper password practices

Stay away from unsecured networks

Free public networks might seem appealing when you’re working abroad or running out of data, but the hidden cost might be too high. Such networks typically don’t have the necessary security measures, leaving your iPhone exposed to hackers.Only connect to public Wi-Fi when you don’t have another option. You can use a VPN to cloak your IP address and other sensitive information, but make sure the service is end-to-end encrypted.

Install trusted apps

Jailbreaking is a common practice many iPhone users love because it lets them personalize their devices and install third-party apps they can’t get otherwise. The issue is it also strips your iPhone of malware protection.Stick to the App Store, and be careful about permissions. Despite strict security standards, a malicious app can slip by Apple’s shield. A good way to identify it is by looking at the data it asks for. For instance, a wallpaper app doesn’t need access to your contacts or location, so steer away from such overly curious software.

Go the extra mile with passwords

Setting a strong password is common sense, yet almost 60% of users build it around easy-to-guess information like their name or birthday. Going beyond such obvious passwords is a small but crucial step toward protecting your device and data.Your iPhone can automatically generate complex passwords and store them on the Keychain, which is encrypted alongside all your iCloud data. Take advantage of this option to set strong passwords without the risk of forgetting them.

Join the community

Become a part of our 1,000,000+ community and join the future of a private and decentralized internet.

Free plan • No card required