What Are the Main Alternatives to Apple’s Mail App?

If you’re an iPhone user, having a great iOS email app on your smartphone is an essential part of staying productive on the go.

Many users stick to using Apple Mail, but there are lots of alternatives to Apple Mail that work even better.

In this article, we’ll explain why you might want an alternative email app for iPhone, as well as what options you have.

What Is Apple Mail?

Apple mail is the email client for iPhone that’s included with your device when you buy it off the shelf.

Setting Apple Mail up is fairly quick and simple, which is why a lot of iPhone users don’t look much further than Apple Mail for their mobile email client. 

You can sync most popular email clients, such as Gmail and Outlook, with your Apple Mail to receive your messages from existing accounts right to your phone.

However, Apple Mail doesn’t do much beyond letting you read and respond to emails on the go.

That’s why we recommend looking at some of the following alternatives to Apple Mail listed below if you want to really boost your productivity and do more than just traditional emailing back and forth.

Best Alternatives to Apple Mail

Spike email

Spike email is the world’s first conversational email app, meaning it transforms your emails from traditional inbox threads into chat-style conversations.

Like Apple Mail, you can sync multiple existing email accounts to Spike to start receiving all your emails in the app — but that’s where the similarities between Spike email and Apple Mail stop.

When you get an email from someone in Spike, it pops up in a chat window and their message appears as a chat bubble, instead of as an email thread with repetitive subject lines, headings, and other content.

This makes reading and responding to emails on the go from your Apple device much more natural feeling, not to mention much faster.

Besides the conversational email highlight, Spike also has tons of other built-in features that we love. These include:

  • Priority inbox (filters out low-priority emails)
  • Video meetings (for instant video conferencing)
  • Groups (chat with multiple team members, clients, and/or partners)
  • Online notes (start notes and collaborate on them with others)
  • Tasks and to-do lists (manage all your projects in one place)
  • Voice messages (for when you can explain something better out loud)
  • Super search (quickly find what you’re looking for)
  • File management (preview files and attachments right in the app)
  • Calendar (can sync multiple external calendars in Spike)

If the one-of-a-kind conversational email functionality of Spike wasn’t enough to convince you, the above features should definitely cement it as the best alternative to Apple Mail out there.


Gmail is Google’s email client that is available on all desktop and mobile devices, including iPhone and other Apple devices.

If you are already a Gmail user, and you want to stick with using the same interface and functionality that you’re used to using on desktop, Gmail can be a good alternative to Apple Mail for iOS.

In terms of sending and receiving emails to your inbox and composing messages, the email client experience on Gmail and Apple Mail is pretty similar.

However, Apple Mail has some limitations that make it inferior to Gmail. For example, adding attachments in Apple Mail is much less intuitive than in Gmail. 

Additionally, Gmail offers advanced search capabilities that Apple Mail does not have, making it far easier to find old emails in your inbox when you need to.

Finally, Gmail allows you to integrate other third-party apps with it, so you can customize your email experience in many ways that are not possible with Apple Mail.


Outlook is Microsoft’s email client that, like Gmail, is available on all desktop and mobile devices. 

Outlook is most popular among Windows users who are already used to the interface and UX, but is a solid choice for anyone looking for an alternative to Apple Mail on their iPhone.

Similarly to Gmail, Outlook isn’t just an email client — it’s a whole suite of Microsoft apps and services that tie into your email to give you a more powerful, productive experience.

For example, the seamless integration with Microsoft’s OneDrive makes it incredibly easy to attach files, such as media, documents, and spreadsheets, to all your emails.

In general terms, Outlook just offers a much more professional interface and work environment that makes your on-the-go email experience more productive than Apple Mail.

The Bottom Line

If you just want a simple mobile email client for iOS, Apple Mail gives you the basic abilities you need. But, it’s not going to do much to improve your professional communications or boost your productivity.

To do so, you’re going to need an alternative to Apple Mail that offers more functionality and features, such as Spike mail. We think Spike mail is the best overall alternative to Apple Mail out there, and we’re sure you’ll think so too once you try it.

Gmail and Outlook are other alternatives to Apple Mail that users who are already very familiar with their interfaces may prefer. Ultimately, whatever you feel most comfortable and productive using is a great choice!

Nathaniel Villa
Nathaniel Villa