12
Feb
Nine-Thumb

Two days ago I took a look at CloudMagic's Android email client, and I have to admit, it's a well-designed piece of software. Its blazing fast searching is its claim to fame, but even without this functionality, it's an attractive, holo-friendly app with support for multiple accounts and a unified inbox. But - and for many, this is a big but - the app indexes your mail on CloudMagic's servers. Deal breaker? In that case, here's another email client that might just fit your needs, assuming you have an Exchange account, another service pushed by Microsoft, or a Google Apps account. Nine isn't quite as versatile, but its attractive interface alone makes it worth a look.

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What's Nine All About?

Nine is skewed towards professional use, but there's no reason you can't rely on it for personal messages. Actually, there's one big one. Nine supports various email services, but Gmail doesn't make the list (unless you're using a Google Apps account). There's also no support for Yahoo either.

Supported servers:

  • Exchange Server 2003 SP2/SP3 and above
  • Office 365
  • Hotmail
  • Outlook.com
  • Gmail (Google Apps account only)
  • Other servers supported Exchange ActiveSync

This will prohibit a large number of us from relying on the app right out of the gate, but that doesn't mean there isn't something worth seeing here. Unfortunately, I won't have too much to show you. Since Nine doesn't support any of the accounts that I actually use, I created one at Outlook.com just for the sake of testing things out. So here it is, the one email in my inbox, along with its presence in my notification drawer.

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Nothing here is going to blow your mind, but that's part of the point. Nine isn't flashy, it isn't trying to revolutionize email, and it isn't trying to do more than deliver your messages. If you don't want gimmicks, this is a serious option that presents the necessities without sacrificing style in the process.

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Many of Nine's settings are context aware. That means if you want to edit the way the app handles searching or tweak the options available when composing a new message, you hit the settings button while you're on the relevant screen. It's far from a revolutionary concept, but it works really well here. Dividing preferences up prevents them from getting too overwhelming.

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This is good, because Nine has even more options tucked away elsewhere, and they're pretty in-depth. You can handle what should happen after deleting a message, toggle sender image, enable swipe-to-delete, tweak sync schedule, limit email download size, choose message formats, set custom ringtones, determine sync ranges, and much more. The app supports rich-text editing, syncing calendar and contacts with stock apps, and some unexciting features that are, again, geared towards professional users.

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Should You Download It?

As clean and usable as Nine is, it just isn't the app for your average user. Setting aside the privacy concerns inherent in letting a third-party index your mail, CloudMagic is just more compelling out of the box, even if it comes with far fewer options. The supported services are too limiting, with the lack of general Gmail accounts eliminating this option for most people I know personally.

But that's not the point. Nine is an app for Exchange users, and if you've been struggling to find something that doesn't freak out when trying to access your Exchange account, this app is tailored made to fill that role. Except, there's one more thing - Nine isn't free. You can use it without paying for two weeks, but after that, it costs $9.99 to keep installed.

Thanks, Ben!

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.

  • Jamin

    For 9.99 it should be the best email client ever. Since that isn't the case....

    • Zach Bonjour

      Touchdown is still the king when it comes to features.

      • blumpkinator

        yeah, but the interface is downright wretched.

    • Jason Brown

      would be nice if google spent a little more effort for their stock email app. would be nice to have just as good an email app like gmail (functionally and ui wise) for ppl that have to use outlook and arent able/allowed to emails forwarded to their gmail. yeah i know it wouldnt be of any benefit to google but itd be nice to have.

    • jibust

      Actually its not expensive, and given that it is fairly new, it has a lot of features. Touchdown costs double and includes the most horrendous ui in an exchange app.

  • epsiblivion

    in that case, (re:$9.99), I'll keep using AOSP email for exchange

    • http://google.com/+derekross Derek Ross

      Technically speaking, AOSP doesn't support Exchange Active Sync. It's a licensed product. It's part of GApps.

  • Vardan Nazaretyan

    9.99$? And I thought iPhone was the most overpriced thing in the world? I would pay a maximum of 3.99$ for it if I was to buy it.

    • BrentKensey

      This is why we can't have nice things.

    • Johnny Ng

      Nine deserved this price for such app quality. Touchdown is overpriced for its horrible UI and lack of Google Calenday/Contact integration.

  • Alex Grinko

    Touchdown is the most powerful Exchange client on Android

    • Marco Antonio Galvis

      Truth.

    • thedosbox

      It's also got a horrendous UI.

  • http://google.com/+derekross Derek Ross

    As an Exchange Admin, this looks gorgeous. I'll be trying this out. Thanks for the heads up.

  • soulruins

    Excuse me, what is the keyboard on the screenshots?

    • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

      It's the default keyboard on the HTC One.

  • mrnoll

    "This app is incompatible with all of your devices."

    Doesn't seem to like the LG G2 or Nexus 10. Their site just says Android 4+.

    • duke69111

      Installed and works on my LG G2 just fine.

      • mrnoll

        Must then be CM11 or Verizon. It still says my device is not compatible.

        • duke69111

          I have the Verizon g2 as well.

          • mrnoll

            I emailed their support, apparently it happens if the dpi is set to a non-standard value. I set it back to the default 480, installed Nine, and put it back to 423 that I had before. All good.

          • jibust

            Just install Xposed, and enable the Play Store Fixes module. You won't have to be changing your DPI in order to be able to download apps.

        • Jason Brown

          lol thats weird. i was able to install it. gnex cm 11 m2 snapshot on vzw. havent setup anything but just thought id share. i havent gotten around to updating to the m3 snapshot so maybe its incompatible with m3.

        • derpface

          I'm running cm11 on Verizon and this installed and works beautifully. Must be the user. Did you change the DPI on your screen? Derp

  • itznfb

    Phone only? Can't find it on my ASUS Memo FHD or Nexus 10.

  • abobobilly

    OH my. Looks pretty as f*ck.

  • deltatux

    If it supported IMAP as well, I'd be using this. Exchange support on AOSP 4.4 KitKat is buggy. Causes CPU spikage.

  • thedosbox

    I've been looking for a more powerful alternative to the stock mail client for work (so cloud magic isn't an option), and wasn't willing to put up with the clusterfuck of a UI that Touchdown has. This looks promising.

    • Ramiro Fernandez

      I was looking for the same thing, and this app is really nice. If it had conversation threading, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
      Unfortunately, it does not. Why isn't there a decent, simple app that can thread conversations with an Exchange account? EvoMail looked promising but Exchange support has been coming "in a matter of weeks" for something like 6 months now...

      • Nick Orlando

        I installed Nine this afternoon, and it does have conversation threading in Exchange.

        • Ramiro Fernandez

          You're right! They must have added the feature in the last couple of months.

          I'm so happy :) thanks!

  • ithehappy

    What the heck is G Apps?

    • Nathaniel Webb

      Google apps, also known as apps made by Google.

  • Bryan Pizzuti

    Does this apply exchange-server-enforced security policies? Or did they "accidentally" forget to implement that? :)

    • NRGZ28

      They didn't... it's there, unfortunately...

    • duse

      Use TouchDown. You won't have to encrypt and lock your whole phone. Just the app's data is encrypted and you enter your PIN when you want to view your email. Makes abundant sense and I don't know why more apps don't offer this mode of operation.

      • Bryan Pizzuti

        Touchdown doesn't merge your calendars. Kind of important. Deal breaker in fact.

        • Johnny Ng

          Totally agree. What I like about Nine is that it integrates the calendar into the Google Calendar app, which Touchdown doesn't. That said, Touchdown UI really looked yucks....

    • Kaushal

      Unfortunately it's there. That's the only deal breaker for me.

    • buz

      A recent update allows to apply security policies at the app level ! Nine asks you now what security model you want when you setup an account.

  • Craig

    "This app is incompatible with all of your devices."

  • netPIMP

    mailwise ... still in beta... equally interesting

  • Ravo

    And it's missing the ability to add custom signatures. Instead you are struck with a un-delete-able sentence advertising Nine.

    • mrnoll

      Or you could just change the signature in the settings.

    • jibust

      You can change/add signature in the email settings.

  • jibust

    I don't care what people, I really like it. Battery drain seems on par with Touchdown (maybe even less) and it has a great amount of features. Also, its gorgeous, and doesn't make my phone fell like its running Android 2.2.The only feature I'm missing from TD is HTML signatures, but I can live without that.

    I will definitely buy it as soon as my trial is up.

    • danrod8

      You can actually do HTML email signatures. Check out the FAQ on their site, although I'm having trouble getting an image to show.

      • Bilbo

        I finally got an image to display in my sig by placing it I an external server in step of including it inline.

  • Björn Lundén

    Considering basically all other Exchange apps beside the stock AOSP one are horrible, this is a much needed addition for that part of the market. Let's hope it supports using client certificates properly, unlike basically all manufacturer stock apps. Where I work the solution up until now has been to either flash CM or buy a Nexus device.

  • danrod8

    As a heavy Exchange user, this email app solves all of the problems I have with the standard email app. For business users, it is well worth the $9.99

  • exzrael

    It looks pretty, that much cred can I give. Unfortunately it lacks support for tasks and notes - both of which I am a very heavy user of.
    TouchDown is my primary choise on Android because it handles all functions well, and I can live without a beautiful UI.
    Leta hope the recently shown OWA will be released shortly with all kinds of nice functions.

  • browngeek

    So after a lot of umming and ahhing and debating and looking for many other options, I decided to finally by this app. For people like me (i.e. work email via exchange 2010) this is a solid app and seems to be much better than the stock email app. I very much like the peak / off-peak option as well. Yes there is Touchdown, but its double the price (at the moment), but Touchdown licence is only limited to one device (I think). Also (I think again) the Touchdown calendar does not sync with with the stock Android calender.

  • Stephen Berman

    I installed the trial version. For my needs it did not seem to do anything that I could not do with the standard email program in my Moto X. But now I cannot uninstall it. When I try to uninstall from my apps menu on Settings, the "uninstall" button is not active. Nor is the "forcestop" button." So I tried from the Google Play Store. There I found a "Deactivate" button. I pushed it and got a message that Nine administered other devices and therefore I needed to deactivate it before uninstalling. But it did not tell me how to deactivate it. All I get from the "Deactivate" button is a message advising me to deactivate the program if I want to uninstall it. So I'm stuck. Perhaps if I paid for it, then an uninstall button would appear. That would make this thing a sort of "ransomware" i.e. if you try it you need to pay money to get it off your system. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to deactivate/uninstall this thing?

    • Stephen Berman

      I can now answer my own question. I'll post this here in case anyone else encounters the same thing. Apparently when I installed it, the program asked to be a "device administrator" and I granted the permission (I vaguely remember doing that). So, to uninstall such a program, one needs to go to "Security" on the Setting menu. There you scroll down and find "Device Administrators." Click on "Device Administrators" and you will get a list of all those programs which are device administrators. Uncheck the program (just hit the check and it disappears). Then it asks you to confirm that you are taking away the permission to be a device administrator. Confirm that this is what you want to do. Then go back to the "Apps" menus on settings. Find the program again (in this case Nine) and you should find the Uninstall button is now active. So I could readily uninstall it. By the way, there's nothing horrible about the program. It's just that my level of sophistication and need is such that the standard email client serves me well and I like to keep my space free for some things I really want. Possibly I could reinstall it and purchase it some time in the future. But just not now. I'm rather new to android and to smart phones in general so what I want out of it may well change in the future.

  • http://pandu.poluan.info pepoluan

    I've used it extensively throughout the trial period, and now I just can't imagine working without it. Its push email facility is just awesome. It syncs my phone's calendar very well. It integrates Exchange directory search with the Contacts app. Plus, the support for Exchange policy complies with the corporate policy. The 10 USD I paid for this app is money well-spent.