[APP][5.0+] FairEmail - Fully featured, open source, privacy oriented email app

Search This thread

nadir husain

Senior Member
Aug 31, 2019
Hi Marcel,
It is sad, that you are discontinuing the project as there is nothing like FairMail. However I understand and support your decision. Working with Google is incredibly frustrating and you have to deal with every whim they have with no way to defend yourself. While I would love to see FairMail maintained I don't want the person behind it to feel shackled by it.

I know first hand how frustrating working with Google is. They make random decisions, do stupid API changes and more ****. In theory Android is open, but thats not really true, because if you want to go outside the Google bubble, you either have to be in China or reach only a tiny audience. For developers who do it mostly because they want to, it becomes work rather than a hobby. I maintained an open-source app myself and over time I spent more time just updating it for newer Android version than developing anything new. I ended up burnt out and basically switched to maintenance mode only.

I hope the legacy of FairMail will continue in the future in someway. Once you take some time from this, please give another thought to the future of FairMail. It's fine if your decision stays the same, but sometimes time is enough to give you another perspective and maybe find a new way forward, even if you are not the one who maintains it. You put so much work into it that I think it would be a shame just let it collect virtual dust.

I wish you the best of luck on whatever you decide to do next. Thank you for creating FairMail in the first place. It's obvious it took a lot of work and passion to create it.
Beautifully written


Senior Member
Feb 19, 2017
The balance

The few euros I receive in return for what's being offered and the fun of developing things are no compensation for the thousands of questions I answer every month, for unfair Play store reviews and for stress about unclear Google requirements.

Core problem

Google. There is no sensible way to appeal in case of bad reviews or alleged violations of Play store policies.

People. They are generally pretty demanding and on the other hand everything should be free.

Myself. An old and grumpy developer, who maybe should retired.
Some suggestions for the People part:
- first-level-support: instead of answering thousands of questions yourself, redirect them to a support thread on XDA where users can help users.
- community managers: find volunteers to help you with bug triaging (e.g. via Issue Templates on GitHub) and PlayStore review handling. You would only have to deal with actual bugs and reasonable feature requests from there on.

This might shield you from negative people and let you do what you love: focus on writing excellent apps.

Thanks for the many hours you have put into this!


Senior Member
Oct 27, 2013
goodbye marcel , i hope life is good to you & your lady friend and your families.
p.s. if ever in america come on by. plenty of room and food (seriously)
  • Like
Reactions: nadir husain


Recognized Developer
Aug 1, 2010
A reminder why I did stop:


I need to add to this that I also received a lot of friendly messages the past days. Unfortunately, there were some rather unfriendly messages too.


Recognized Developer
Aug 1, 2010
Google's response of today:

Thanks for your reply.

We understand the inconvenience this may cause and we appreciate your patience and understanding.

I see your app, FairEmail, privacy aware email (eu.faircode.email), was resubmitted earlier and has been approved.

However, it seems that you are using "Managed Publishing" for submitting your app. To make your app live on the Play Store, please make sure to select the "Review and publish" button in your Play Console. Please note that when you select "Review and publish" and confirm that you want to publish, your changes will be available and visible to Google Play users.

You can visit our help center for more information about managed publishing.

Thanks for working with us to fix the policy issues and for your support of Google Play.

Please let me know if I can help with anything else.

My "level 4" response:

Yes, I made random changes, just like the time before, which means that the app can be rejected or removed at any time again. Therefore I want to know why exactly the app was rejected.

I am reminding you once more that you are required to answer in an individualised manner and drafted in plain and intelligible language, as required by EU regulation 2019/1150 article 11.1c


You still haven't been 100% transparent and told what exactly is or was wrong. This is without doubt unfair business practice according to the referenced regulation.

I am requesting once more to tell me what exactly is wrong. If you can't, you should escalate to someone who can.


Recognized Developer
Aug 1, 2010
Keep hitting at my sensitive places and the chance for return will only be slimmer.

Link. (1 star German Play store review)

Top Liked Posts

  • 3
    It is nice, but it is outdated a bit too.

    Maybe somebody can make a similar guide for publishing on GitHub?
    I can go for it if you want, though it might take a few days. You just need to tell me, where the file should be located at and how it should be named (e.g. tutorial.md) and which branch I should send the PR to on GitHub.

    That way, you won't have to compile an own markdown file, but can just use the pull request and make your fine tuning before merging into the master branch.
    @M66B , i've gone thru FE settings , options , etc. pretty thoroughly now after these years of use and cant find one single thing that i would ask you to add or take away. thank you for your time , knowledge and sacrifice.
    I can go for it if you want, though it might take a few days. You just need to tell me, where the file should be located at and how it should be named (e.g. tutorial.md) and which branch I should send the PR to on GitHub.

    That way, you won't have to compile an own markdown file, but can just use the pull request and make your fine tuning before merging into the master branch.
    Thanks, that's nice. You know my email address, so send me a word document file or similar and I will convert it to markdown while checking everything.
    You could also let the community handle this and focus on your personal life a bit more. :) Isn't that current 'manual' already on a collaborative platform? This community is awesome with stuff like that!
    The manual I linked to is maintained by disroot, an email provider.

    Here's a tutorial I just wrote as I found some spare time today, though. Any feedback is welcome (e.g. if something doesn't sound well phrased or something's missing)

    I have been looking through notification settings and I haven't found what I'm looking for so I figured I'd ask here. I am noticing that the thumbnail icon is on the right hand side for notifications but when looking at a list of emails it's on the left hand side. Is there a way to change it in notifications so it's on the left hand side? Or is this just one of the lovely Google things that can't be changed?
    Try switching to the messaging style in the notification settings.
  • 23
    Version 1.1923 1.1924 is available on GitHub now and in the Play store test program after Google's approval.


    The option to suppress notifications while on a call (recently added) has been replaced by delaying notifications until after having ended the call instead. This way there isn't a risk that important new messages will be missed or seen too late. This option is available on Android 12 and later only because earlier Android versions do not have the requires APIs.
    Quite some people asked my opinion about Thunderbird / K9 mail joining.

    I wish them good luck because we need privacy friendly apps. The author of K9 mail seems a nice guy to me, and even contributed a few lines of code and some constructive feedback to FairEmail. I hope he'll find a nice place in the Mozilla organization.

    That said, the concept of FairEmail is somewhat different than of Thunderbird / K9 mail. One of the things I read about is deep integration between the Thunderbird desktop / mobile app. The concept of FairEmail is to be standalone and not to depend on any service. Maybe in some way the apps are competitors, depending on the way you look at them, but in the end the goal is similar, offering a decent and privacy friendly app, at least I hope that this keeps being the goal of Mozilla. Of course a lot more can be said, but the apps just have a different character, which you might or might not like.
    Version 1.1906 is available on GitHub now and in the Play store test program after Google's approval.


    Thanks @Rtxda for testing!
    Version 1.1907 is available on GitHub now and in the Play store test program after Google's approval.

    Version 1.1914 1.1915 is available on GitHub now.


    All changes required or desired for Android 13 have been done now.
    Now that this has been done and given my personal situation, there will be bug fix releases only for now.
  • 234

    Open source, privacy friendly email app for Android


    See here for a description:

    See here for screenshots:


    Frequently asked questions:

    Please read this before requesting a new feature:

    This XDA thread is about using the latest version of FairEmail.

    For support on authorizing an account you should consult the documentation of your provider, see also here.

    Off topic comments are allowed as long they are related to FairEmail and are in the general interest of the followers of this thread.

    Discussion of purchases is not allowed here, please contact me via here instead.
    How was the call with Google today, Marcel?

    Google was pretty friendly and cooperative and told me the favicons are indeed the problem, and it can/should be fixed by updating in the privacy policy to "disclose how your app accesses, collects, uses, and shares user data":

    Privacy Policy​

    All apps must post a privacy policy in both the designated field in Play Console and within the app itself. The privacy policy must, together with any in-app disclosures, comprehensively disclose how your app accesses, collects, uses, and shares user data, not limited by the data disclosed in the Data Safety section. This must include:
    • developer information and a privacy point of contact or a mechanism to submit inquiries
    • disclosing the types of personal and sensitive user data your app accesses, collects, uses, and shares; and any parties with which any personal or sensitive user data is shared
    • secure data handling procedures for personal and sensitive user data
    • the developer’s data retention and deletion policy
    • clear labeling as a privacy policy (e.g., listed as “privacy policy” in title)
    The entity (e.g., developer, company) named in the app’s Google Play listing must appear in the privacy policy or the app must be named in the privacy policy. Apps that do not access any personal and sensitive user data must still submit a privacy policy.

    Please make sure your privacy policy is available on an active URL (no PDFs) and is non-editable.

    So, I have updated the privacy policy and added this new table:


    I am not sure if it covers everything, so feedback is more than welcome. @mkasimd maybe you can take a look?

    Note that I have also enabled BIMI, Gravatars, Libravatars and favicons for the Play store version again.

    The short term goal is to release a Play store test version (and associated GitHub version) and to get the update approved. I will think about the next steps after this has been accomplished. Given the huge number of supportive messages I received (much appreciated!) the project will be continued in some form in any case.
    Version 1.1900 is available on GitHub now and in the Play store test program after Google's approval (which is the main goal of this release).


    My girlfriend is slowly recovering too :)
    It is time for a new, modern, open source, privacy friendly email client for Android.

    I have just released a first alpha version for feedback on the design and features.

    Not for production use yet!

    Most of the stuff basically works, but be prepared for crashes and error notifications.

    Safe email is a working name, but it is for several reasons not a convenient name, so suggestions for a name are welcome.
    I have just released alpha version 0.15


    With a bit of luck the next version can be a beta version.

    I am putting a lot of effort into this project, so thanks are appreciated.