K-9 Email


Classic email app for Android: No frills, no ads, no tracking. K-9 stays out of your way and lets you read/write/organize your email across multiple accounts plus a unified inbox. Easy to set up with an IMAP-based email provider. Works well with both light and dark mode, and you can switch modes per message when needed. The optional 2-column layout works great for tablet screens in landscape mode (and can be set to auto-switch based on screen orientation).

Gmail accounts are supported again, and setting them up is super-easy. Unlike the Gmail app, K-9 won’t alter the links in your messages to track which ones you click on!

K-9 is part of the Thunderbird project now, under active development, and will become Thunderbird for Android soon.

There are a handful of bugs/missing features (as of version 6.602) that frustrate me:

  • There’s no “undo” for moving or deleting a message. You have to go to the other folder (or trash) and fish it back out.
  • You can’t add folders from K-9. You have to do it from another device or app.
  • Auto-show images for specific senders.
  • Some (too much!) formatted email is still designed assuming it’s going to be read on a desktop screen, even though almost everyone reads mail on their phones these days. Auto-fit works for most of these, but occasionally the designer has already shrunk the text, or something makes the message super-wide, and by the time the app shrinks it too, the text is completely illegible.

Online at K-9 Email. Available from Google Play, F-Droid, GitHub.