Welcome back to the Android Police Files, your #1 source for the brilliant stuff that the AP staff receives in our mailboxes. Since we last convened, a lot has happened. The latest version of Android shares a name with a branded product for the first time since 4.4 KitKat. The Galaxy Note8 was released, and it doesn't catch fire. And most recently, a Canadian 17-year old and his "youth leadership coach" tried to pass a Chinese ODM's phone off as their own and crowdsource it on Indiegogo.
There will always be new things going on in the world, but there's one thing that we know will never change: crazy people sending us crazy messages.
The Play Store is getting a new email client. Big deal, right? It's not as if we're suffering for lack of options. Well, MailTime, which debuted on iOS in late 2014, is anything but just another entry in a crowded category. For MailTime, emails are just messages, nothing special. You didn't ask for a bunch of metadata, you just got it. The app parses your emails to separate the actual messages from the rest of the clutter.
The primary interface is, at first glance, much like any other email client. You have a list of threads to choose from. But when you open them up, you see an SMS-esque UI that makes it loud and clear that this is not your father's mail app.
Synology is a Taiwanese company that specializes in hardware and software for network attached storage. It's not particularly known as a security company, but with the American government publicly demanding access to more or less all data on the planet, and other countries and less polite entities taking it without asking, the market is ripe to sell security products to wary consumers. Hence MailPlus, yet another secure and encrypted email system, this time independently hosted from a customer's Synology-branded NAS hardware.
When you think of the intersection between America Online and email, you probably think of the phrase "you've got mail," septuagenarians forwarding politically-charged but factually lacking messages, and/or Meg Ryan. But AOL Mail is still going strong, and it looks like the company is actually trying to branch out into mobile software. Take Alto Mail, for example: it's a new stand-alone mail client just published in the Play Store alongside more antiquated options like AIM and AOL On.
Inbox by Gmail isn't even yet a year old, but Google is trying to improve mail even further. But this time, it's not working with the digital variety. It's doing something about snail mail.
And frankly, it's about time. People have been sticking envelopes in mailboxes for a century or two, and the experience hasn't changed all that much. Our mailboxes could be better. They could be smarter.
They could be the Smartbox.
This box brings many of the luxuries of email to physical mail. Receive notifications on your phone whenever new envelopes arrive. Automatically organize content into folders. Block spam by delivering electric shocks (okay, your mail carrier probably won't like that one).
Today Google has announced a number of changes that make it easier to handle multiple accounts from a single place, and they're biggies. For starters, there's the option to view all accounts in a single inbox. And that's joined by the ability to browse conversations in non-Gmail accounts as you would native ones. Options supported include Yahoo, Outlook.com, and other IMAP/POP accounts.
Now that the hustle and bustle of Mobile World Congress 2015 is behind us, we have time to address some of the comments and emails we've received over the past several months.
If this is your first time coming across the Android Police Files, here's what you should know: some of the people who reach out to us assume that there's a police force out there dedicated entirely to Android (whatever that means) or that we personally had a hand in every piece of code or software that comes out for their devices. Others are just plain paranoid.