We may not rely on our phones for actual calls as often we used to, but these fancy little rectangles of ours still handle more than their share of critical communication.

From emailing clients to texting with colleagues, our smartphones keep us connected to business wherever we may roam. But the apps that come installed on devices by default aren’t always the best options; in fact, they can often be flat-out disadvantageous when it comes to professional productivity.

I’ve spent a fair amount of time testing the significant email and texting apps available on Android. These are the titles I’d recommend, broken down by category and purpose — and all free, unless otherwise noted.

The best all-around Android email app for most people


Google’s Gmail app is both powerful and easy to use — especially if you also use Gmail on your computer. The Android app gives you the same basic inbox setup as the desktop site, complete with all the categories, labels, and other designations you’re accustomed to seeing. It taps into Gmail’s handy snoozing system, too, and generally just gets the job done with minimal fuss or adjustment required.

best android email apps gmailJR Raphael/IDG

The Gmail Android app provides a familiar interface and set of features for anyone used to the Gmail website.

And though it’s called Gmail, the Gmail app can work with any type of email account or even multiple email accounts — whether they’re associated with Google, Microsoft Exchange, or any webmail provider or company server.

(Bonus tip: Gmail for Android has some helpful hidden features, if you feel like exploring.)