Dextr is a new mail experience that hopes to bring you closer to the people you love, and it may help you do precisely that. The app allows you to communicate with your friends - and only your friends - in a simple and minimalistic interface. If you want a new third-party email app to simplify your inbox and make the incoming clutter easier to decipher, look elsewhere. But if you want a simple and attractive app for communicating with your favorite people on Gmail, this might just be what you have been waiting for.


What it Does

Dextr is a third-party email client that filters out all of the clutter from your Gmail account so that you can focus only on your email correspondence with close friends. On the app's Google Play page, the developers claim that email should be "minimal, beautiful, and personal," and it shows. Dextr oozes style from the moment you first launch the app. Everything from Dextr's straightforward setup guide to its Holo design interface makes it look perfectly at home on any modern Android handset.

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After you select which contacts you want to consider friends, Dextr presents a list of your recently received email. Using Dextr feels more like browsing through the Google+ app than Gmail. Each email shows an image of the contact who sent it, their name, the subject line, a timestamp, and the first few lines of text. Tapping on an email presents the text in a clean window and provides you with the option to reply. A menu button hides the options to star, trash, mark as unread, or archive an email. If you want to do more, sorry, the functionality isn't there yet. But for many people, these choices may be enough.

Dextr lets you add new friends at any time, and the experience is straightforward enough. You can swipe from the right side of the screen to reveal your friend list. From this screen you can also open up the settings menu, but it's almost too polite to refer to the handful of options currently available as "settings." The app is currently in beta, and it shows. Functionality is extremely basic. Push notifications aren't even available, though the developers intend to include them in the next release.

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You can email people who are not friends, but they need to be a friend for you to see their response. Suffice to say, this probably isn't the app you would want to use to complain to the phone company for billing you twice. This also isn't the app for managing your job hunt or dealing with college admissions.  Basically, if you don't know who will send you an email beforehand, then you will need to use a different app to read it. Dextr's biggest strength is also its biggest weakness, it is great for staying in touch with your friends, but it cuts you off from everyone else.

In Brief

Dextr has its appeal. After work hours are over, I sometimes feel compelled to hide from my phone on the off chance that someone has emailed me more work to do. Dextr may allow me to more easily balance personal email and work email, forcing me to only communicate with friends and family when I'm trying to unwind. Yet the reality remains that Dexlr is more of a supplement to the Gmail app than a replacement, and it's up to you to decide if you want to maintain multiple apps just to check your inbox. If your answer is yes, check out the app below while it's still on sale.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • http://resaberz.blogspot.com/ Rebornyama

    Awesome icon!

    • Reborn Mada

      No. There's nothing special about it. Sorry...

    • alexcue

      It looks heavily inspired by Melbourne's rebranding a few years back:

  • Patrick Thompson

    I don't know why but, it bothers me so much that their icon is in the center of the action bar....

  • TheCraiggers

    I do the same thing right now with Gmail's priority mail feature.

  • Matthew Fry

    So... basically... it's what the gmail client should look like.

  • Pascal Welsch

    I have to select my friends from my more than 5000 people address book? Impossible.
    No threaded mailing. that's so 90s

    But cool design guys!

  • http://profiles.google.com/marcusleejh Marcus Lee

    What a weird "feature" they're selling.

    With such strong design, I think they'd earn good money if they just made this like a... normal email client. I can't ever see myself using (much less buying) this app if I have to fall back on another email client in order to deal with messages from non-friends.

  • Andrew Townsend

    Not available in Australia? Whats the logic there?

    Would be interested to know how it pulls and stores its data. Does it ask for auth, and pull the info from the local gmail db? or does it need a live link to google? does it cause twice the email / data traffic? one for gmail app, one for dextr?

  • http://profiles.google.com/kstagg Kevin Stagg

    Just wish Gmail was more Google+ - esque in design. It's in bad need of a makeover.

  • Freak4Dell

    It's got a great look, but that's about it. I can already segregate my email in GMail, so I really don't need another app for that. Plus, I can think of half a dozen ways I interact with my friends before I'd use GMail to do it, so this app wouldn't help anything.

  • http://twitter.com/VikramDhani bikermunda

    This is really funny that i have to pay for a app that is still in beta :) I guess this is the difference between IOS and Android

    • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

      iOS doesn't have any beta apps in app store; if that's what you mean.