If you want to receive mails on your smartphone or tablet you have to choose between two completely different technologies:
- Polling – The mail server is contacted in a pre-configured timeframe (30 minutes, 1 hour,…) and asked for new messages
- Pushing – The mails servers informs the mobile device about about new emails
The most Androids are using the Polling technology – unfortunately the most standard mail clients offer no Pushing functionality. You can find some alternative mail clients with Pushing functionality in the Google Play store – for example K-9 Mail.
It is important that your mail server supports the so-called IMAP IDLE function – this function is needed for implementing the Pushing functionality. You can find apropriate information about this in the provider’s FAQ.
K-9 Mail is a open-source mail client which supports IMAP, POP3 and WebDAV mailboxes. Many people say, that K-9 works good but looks really bad – I can’t approve this but I also have to say that I don’t care about the design of a mail client that much as long as it works. The original Android 4.x mail client is more stylish but offers no Pushing functionality. Beyond that the mail synchronization is not always working in my current ROM – mails are sometimes synchronized, sometimes not.
K-9 Mail offers the most standard functions including signatures and receipt acknowledgement. Existing IMAP folders can be browsed comfortably and multiple mails can be marked and deleted or moved afterwards.
Pushing is working fine with K-9 Mail. It only takes a few seconds until sent mails are also received on the mobile devices – even if multiple mailboxes are used.
K-9 Mail is free and can be downloaded in the Google Play Store: [click me!]
I attached some screenshots of the application: