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

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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)
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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

  • 6
    Answering questions here feels like a waste of time right now.

    Your old and grumpy developer aka drama queen is going to take a longer break from answering questions here.
    Additionally, while there are many FAQs answered on the github site, FE is IMO sorely in need of a piece of documentation that explains some of the basics (and the thinking behind it).
    People hardly read documentation anymore these days, not even if there are problems. So, IMHO it isn't worth to put effort into this.

    Writing documentation like this and keeping it up to date is a significant amount of work, which I rather put into development instead.

    Edit: I am all for decent documentation, which the FAQ also reflects. So, it isn't that I am too lazy to write it.

    To support this with facts: you are maybe the fifth person asking for this in over three years.
    I simply swipe to open the left-hand menu.
    This are the unified system folders and they can't be disabled, only collapsed.

    Unified system folders = all folders of the same type (inboxes, sent messages, etc). This is independent of the selected unified inbox folders, which don't need to be inboxes either.
    I see. Well, in my work flow, these are an abomination. I am starting to think the way FE works is not compatible with the way my brain works (or sometimes doesn't 😏 ).

    Final question: in the menu that opens when long-pressing a folder there's an entry "Subscribe"? What does that mean?
    "Subscribed" is an IMAP feature to mark a folder as being more important. The definition is rather vague, but the subscribed state will be stored on the email (IMAP) server. FairEmail allows you to filter on subscribed folders via the three dots overflow menu of a folder list.

    The app is pretty versatile, so it will be usable for 99% of the users. If you don't need the navigation menu items to go to the unified system folders, just don't use it. Other people, including myself, use this rather frequently though.
    I'm slowly familiarising myself with FE. I suspect I am not among the most typical users. For instance, I am very strict with what and when email is downloaded, ie I have no automatic checking, no background downloads, no notifications when new mail has arrived etc.

    Also I have seven most-used accounts and again, I am very strict in how I deal with them, so in all my email clients the first thing I disable (if it's implemented) is Unified inboxes.

    This seems to be broken though. I have no folder at all (no inboxes and no other folders) defined as "unified" and yet I see all inbox messages of my accounts in a unified inbox (I don't have to open it, granted but this feels still like something that shouldn't happen). Either there's an option I've overlooked or again this doesn't work as I think it should (aside: in 1.1927, if the Settings are open, search for "unif" and you'll see what I think is a nonsensical entry, triggered by the word "uniform").

    Second problem. As I never sync automatically (and I have also switched off sync at start) I have to sync manually and as explained that's precisely how I want it. However, I can't do that as easily as it could be (IMO). If the list of accounts is shown I see no immediate option in the top bar to sync (just Search, Unified folder (which I never use) and the three-dot menu), so I have to open the menu and tap Force sync. If the folder list is shown, again I see no option in the top bar to sync, so again I have to open the three-dot menu. And finally if an Inbox folder is open... you probably get my point.

    Last but not least (for the moment 😁 ) I'd really like a visual colour hint in which account I am currently when the folder list is shown. Perhaps there's an option for that but if so I haven't found it.

    Thanks for looking into this.
    You can enable/disable showing a folder in the unified inbox by long pressing the folder in the folder list of an account (tap on the account name in the navigation menu).

    You can synchronize message by pulling down the list of accounts, folders or messages. You can also sync a single folder by long pressing it. Note that pulling down the list of accounts (not the one in the navigation menu) will sync the unified inbox folders.

    Guess is that your want to change the start screen to either accounts or unified folders (not the same as unified inbox) in the display settings.

    Edit: if it doesn't work in the specific way you expect it to work, it doesn't mean there are bugs.
  • 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.
    Version 1.1906 is available on GitHub now and in the Play store test program after Google's approval.


    Thanks @Rtxda for testing!
    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 1.1907 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.