A 3rd-party, Android email client, still worth using: FairEmail.

One of the observations which I’ve made about the Android platform is, that many of the 3rd-party email apps that once used to run well, no longer do so under Android 10, and that, additionally, their devs have often abandoned them.

For that reason, I’m happy to find that such an app still exists, or newly exists, and its name is FairEmail. This is an app, the free version of which can actually be used in the long term, but which I paid for, just to get the extra features.

One of the observations which I can make about this app is, that it has a plethora of settings, some of which I haven’t learned the meaning of yet. But, by default, the way to use it is to follow what is located in its first settings tab, which displays wizards to set up email accounts according to a database of recognized providers, and then, to leave the settings at their defaults. Additional wizards help the user give the app special settings under Android. The app directs the user to the required or optional settings, but it’s up to the user actually ‘to throw the switch’ each time. (:2)

Multiple email accounts can all be set up, using the same wizard.

The app runs in phone-optimized as well as tablet-optimized formats.

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One of the features that were highly important to me was, support for both ‘S/MIME’ and ‘OpenPGP’. When using OpenGPG, this app will always encode it using the trendy ‘PGP/MIME’ format, and no longer, using ‘Clearsigning’, which was also referred to as ‘Inline Format’. The use of OpenPGP requires that an additional key-management app be installed, and on my devices, Open Keychain was already so, and was recognized immediately by FairEmail.

The app displays many widgets inside displayed emails, most of which give explicit commands to do things, that might impact the privacy of the user, such as, to display images, to display tracking images, etc. The app tries to distinguish between these two types of images because additionally, being an IMAP Client, downloading even plain images will consume additional data, when many emails can Humanly be understood, without the need actually to see the images. This is especially true for actual Spam.

The app leaves Spam filtering up to the IMAP Server, but displays the Spam Folder as fully accessible.

And many configuration details show me, that it assumes trendy preferences, even though I can’t say that either I, or most of my email contacts, qualify as trendy Internet users. One trendy feature is that this app mainly supports IMAP, and that any support of POP3 which the user may find, will be incomplete at best.

Another trendy setting in this app has to do with “Flowed Text”. This is a term which refers to ‘Pure Text Emails’, in which one paragraph is essentially written on one line. Traditionally, this lack of formatting was reserved for HTML-composed emails, and the receiving email client would always display those flowed. By contrast, traditionally, Pure Text had fixed line-lengths, determined by the sender, and the receiving client would break lines where line-breaks were sent, even if doing so, or not doing so, tended to wreck the appearance of the email…

(Updated 8/13/2020, 10h10… )

Continue reading A 3rd-party, Android email client, still worth using: FairEmail.

Why AirDroid holds promise for me, after all.

There exists a higher-quality solution to this need, known as ‘Samsung Side-Sync’. But a big problem in my own desire to use this Android app, is the fact that its client-program is only available for Mac or Windows – while I mainly tend to have Linux installed on my PCs and laptops.

The capability which the app delivers, is to turn the Android device into a type of remote, VNC Host, or Server, on which a client seeks to establish a session, in which the properties and resources of the host, are displayed on the client-computer, remotely, as if the user of the client was in fact sitting in front of the host.

This is not so strange an idea, as various types of VNC / RDP already exist, by which a remote session is created on a Windows or a Linux PC as host, such that the client – even if that client exists as an Android client – can seem to have a remote session.

Because I was intrigued by making the Android device the host for a change, and by the possibility of using a Web-interface as client, I decided to give an app a try, which is called AirDroid. After all, even Linux computers have Web-browsers which would be powerful enough to run as clients.

I installed the app on my up-to-date Google Pixel C Tablet, But was initially disappointed, in the apparent observation, that AirDroid just did not seem stable enough to trust with such an objective.

(Last Updated 08/09/2017 : )

Continue reading Why AirDroid holds promise for me, after all.