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

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M66B

Recognized Developer
Aug 1, 2010
26,023
56,090
I would also like to do my part. I have used FairEmail for many years and was (and actually still am) always satisfied. Yes, I also have the Pro version and donated now and then. But to be honest this ass kissing here gets on my nerves.

Google doesn't block and remove apps for no reason at all. They never have and they never will. Anyone who reads through the guidelines knows what is allowed and what is not. I don't want to say that Marcel is to blame, but I also don't want to say that Google is to blame. There are now times these guidelines.

And in the software industry a bad rating is not the end of the world, it should be taken as serious criticism. Who is not able to do this, is either too stupid or too ignorant. It has to be one of them.

It's his app, and it's his decision whether to stop or not, but he shouldn't present himself as the sole victim. My support mails have not been answered for days, instead I now get one or two new spam mails every now and then. I don't know him personally and I don't want to make any judgments about him, so please don't misunderstand.

I hope nevertheless with all my heart that someone else will take care of FairEmail.
Apps are automatically being rejected by an "AI" and this will obviously not be fail-safe. In itself a rejection isn't a problem, but it is a problem that Google doesn't tell why an app was rejected exactly and that no useful discussion about it is possible.

I think the biggest victims are the users of the app.

I am answering all support emails, but last days were "a bit" hectic, so maybe your messages got lost in a huge pile of messages. Please ask your question again, which you can do here too.
 

M66B

Recognized Developer
Aug 1, 2010
26,023
56,090
@Dr-Bob

I just sent this to Google:

EU regulation 2019/1150 requires you to be specific and transparent about why the app is being rejected. You being unable "to provide any more details or a better answer" doesn't exempt you from this requirement. If you can't give an answer, somebody else needs to give the answer. I am requesting you again to be specific and to answer these questions:
  1. Which contact info is being sent
  2. When that is being sent
  3. To where that is being sent
 

M66B

Recognized Developer
Aug 1, 2010
26,023
56,090
The app doesn't send or share contact list info.

The app has been removed before, probably just because there was a link in the change log to https://libravatar.org.

It just isn't that simple.

Anyway, the app is open source, so if you or anybody else can tell me where the app sends contact list info as Google says, please be my guest.
 
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chris122380

Senior Member
Sep 29, 2010
540
102
chris122380.x10.mx
Another question: the app is not available in the Play store anymore. How is it possible that people can write reviews?
If you have purchased the app you can still see it under the list of your purchased apps. However ignore the reviews you are always going to find critics. It doesn't matter if it's a perfect app there will always be somebody who complains. However the last time I looked at it (yesterday) all the reviews were five stars that were displaying on the page. The outpouring of support on XDA, Twitter, Mastodon, in news articles, etc show that all of us don't care what the reviewers have to say. Plus if you want to look at reviews Fairemail surpasses all of these apps with a 4.7 rating while these are less than that Twitter, Mastodon, XDA, Facebook, Gmail, Google, Aquamail, K9, etc. It just shows that more people liked Fairemail then the majority of the apps in the Play store. And even outranked almost all of Google's own apps. To have this high of reviews there is nothing to be ashamed of.
Fairemail is still the best email app available and even if you choose not to update it going forward doesn't change the fact that it is still the best.
 

skibbi_pl

Senior Member
Apr 3, 2010
84
32
Hi Marcel,
As a FairEmail pro user I just wanted to thank you for this amazing mail app. I'm a heavy mail user and I absolutely love your app. I hope you'll not drop the development because of this. But of course it's your decision so I would like to thank you for the last one year of support.

Take care and best wishes!
 
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paradøx

Senior Member
Apr 16, 2021
111
110
I was just thinking to maybe just release updates on GitHub, but that plan is going right into the trash can after this 1 star Play store review
"I think the open source community will not miss such a character."

Wrong. Netguard, FairEmail, XPrivacyLua... I wonder how that idiotic reviewer has contributed to the open source community?
 

rhardy

Member
Dec 5, 2011
23
5
Ottawa
OnePlus 7T
Google Pixel 5
Hi Marcel,
Sorry to hear about what has been happening with Fairemail and your partner. How she gets better soon.
Things have not be easy lately on so many levels. Thanks for your efforts with respect to FairEmail. Your tool is badly needed and your contributions will be surely missed. I really hope we find some way to keep using FairEmail as I too have bought the Pro version. From my point of view there really isn't a functional alternative. Seeing the community come together and build on your tool and figuring out a way to sponsor improvements to it was really the direction I was hoping for. For example I would love to find a way to get better server side searching through the app and could sponsor that.

The current mobile landscape is broken on so many levels. Computing devices whether they are notebooks, phones, PC or whatever are their owners. Having monopolistic corporate interests control for store policies when they are heavily biased to their corporate interests and then force them on developers and device owners is inherently a conflict of interest. Device owner rights, data rights and right to repair need to be protected in law or highly disposable devices which only serve corporate interests will remain the norm. I really hope laws world wide catch up to protect owners and developers.

I can imagine free unlimited support for nothing or even less than 10 euro isn't realistic. It sounds like adopting a functional sustainable model which serves both the community and your interests is needed.

Front end support could be on community members be that forums, IRC channels, Discord etc.
If you are going to be involved figure out what you need for a living wage and to be happy and only offer that.
Less than 10 euro for life of free updates and unlimited support is a good deal but isn't sustainable for you.
Perhaps offering pro features paid once and a subscription model for individualized priority support would work?

Stay well,
Robert Hardy
 

Rococos

New member
May 20, 2022
1
3
Like Marcel said before, there ain't many replies here addressing the how and why.

I am a pro user and FairEmail is the best email app. Filters, anti-tracking, keywords, etc. No other app comes close. K-9 is years behind.

As for the how and why Marcel, I'd stick to paid updates on a quarterly base, for example. Gives you the piece of mind to work at your own pace, only mind the paying supporters, ignore the non-paying choosing beggars / cheapskates. Focus on F-Droid which is probably the bulk of your paying, privacy-minded, users.

Ditch Google... Most paying supporters are using LineageIS or other custom ROM. Your brilliant piece of software is probably not praised or understood at all by the common sheeple.

I'd pay for updates on a trimester or quarterly. And I'm not even talking about feature requests. Just maintaining it.

My 2 cents...
All the best to you and your loved ones.
Thanks for FairEmail
 

mkasimd

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2021
185
366
Düsseldorf
@Dr-Bob the app does not send any contact data to anyone else. The only things that happen are:

  • The sender and recipient as well as email content are sent / received from the email server, as this is the basic requirement for an email app
  • The app might send the email address of the user to the email provider when registering to the server to open an IMAP or SMTP session for receiving or sending mails. Again a requirement for an email app to work properly as many providers require the email address as username for authentication
  • If using Favicons was explicitly enabled by the user, fairemail loads the image https://domain.tld/favicon.ico for any mail received from [email protected] (deactivated by default)
  • If using libravatar, gravatar or similar services was explicitly enabled by the user, FairEmail might send a hash of the sender's address to the avatar service to receive an avatar. The email address itself isn't sent (deactivated by default)
Google claims something that does not happen and won't tell what it is.

Now, people like you come over here and claim Google would have explained everything. No they didn't. If you claim so, come on, look into the source code and give us a file name and a line number where the claimed violation happens. Here's the source code: https://github.com/M66B/FairEmail

Asking Marcel to disprove Google's ridiculous claims is ridiculous in itself. It's like the police arresting somebody at random, telling him "you're under arrest for murder" but not telling who was murdered when and where. But then also expecting that random guy to prove his innovence. Keeping him arrested despite the police couldn't prove his guilt.

Does that make any sense to you? If not, then be reasonable and stop complaining.
 

de_Wolf

Member
Apr 30, 2022
43
101
{Mod edit: Quoted post has been deleted}
We are on different levels. Your statement cannot affect me at all.
 
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Irish_Dude

Senior Member
Dec 18, 2013
191
53
i installed K9 mail today and also PEP email client after using fairemail for years.

When I installed and used these 2 apps it felt like I downgraded from a mcclaren F1 to a Toyota corolla.

Nothing comes close to fairemail.

Id be more than happy to pay a yearly sub if you ever decide to keep developing Fairemail.

Best of luck either way Marcel
 

garak

Member
Aug 24, 2010
32
5
The app doesn't send or share contact list info.
But didn't you say you use the email address to log into the server? And the email address is a part of the contact list. So the condition is fulfilled that you upload something from the contact list. As far as I understand it, it is not about the whole contact list, one field from it is enough.
 

jarlanddonnell

New member
Jul 19, 2017
2
0
But didn't you say you use the email address to log into the server? And the email address is a part of the contact list. So the condition is fulfilled that you upload something from the contact list. As far as I understand it, it is not about the whole contact list, one field from it is enough.

If that ends up being their rationale I'd say it's borderline malicious interpretation (on Google, not you).
 

Top Liked Posts

  • 4
    The dark original message view will stop working for Android before version 10, about which I complained about in this issue:

    https://issuetracker.google.com/issues/237785596

    (requires a Google login)

    The next version of the app will show a message about this.
    4
    Version 1.1930 is available on GitHub now.

    Changelog/download:
    https://github.com/M66B/FairEmail/releases

    If you enable debug mode (last option of the miscellaneous settings tab page), it is possible to enable the option "Fake dark", in the debug panel, which uses a custom algorithmic dark mode (on all Android versions for now). I would like you to test if this works okay for all messages.

    @zinjashike sort on sender will show email addresses and names (if available) with the version.
    3
    Apparently there's a while field of science behind the question of what colors are perceived as light / bright. This article is interesting on the topic:





    But this should work too, I think. In the worst case, we can send a few emails with different background colors in a test version before you push an official release. Just to be certain.
    FairEmail already adjusts colors for the reformatted message view, using magic science ;-)

    For now I am going to wait what Google says about forcing dark mode. It would be better if the browser did this instead of manipulating the HTML. Maybe I I'll leave it like it is, which means that there will be a message that Google removed dark mode for Android before version 10. Let's say that reviews are not very motivating to workaround Google's decision this problem.
    2
    Does the mentioned possible data loss happen only on the device or also on the server?
    Only on the device, unless a POP3 account is being used with the option 'Leave messages on server' disabled.

    I have clarified this in the FAQ:

    https://github.com/M66B/FairEmail/blob/master/FAQ.md#redmi

    Thanks!
    2
    SQLite is used by FairEmail as the app's local database. A data loss within there should not result in any data loss within the server. If that was the case, it'd be a huge bug within the FairEmail on top of the bug in Redmi Note (as deleting in the server requires an IMAP command being sent to the email server), and we can trust that Marcel would have communicated and fixed it already if that was the case 😉

    With POP3, the messages are possibly deleted right after downloading the message. So if the data within the device is lost, the messages are lost for all eternity then. Because there are no messages stored in the server then.

    Advice: use IMAP whenever possible
    In addition: sqlite is the Android database system. FairEmail comes with a recent sqlite library because on older devices / Android versions there are often pretty old sqlite binaries with known and sometimes critical bugs. FairEmail links for this to the requery/sqlite-android project. You'll find some commit of me in this project as well.

    sqlite is a pretty amazing piece of software!
  • 23
    Version 1.1923 1.1924 is available on GitHub now and in the Play store test program after Google's approval.

    Changelog/download:
    https://github.com/M66B/FairEmail/releases

    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.
    20
    Version 1.1906 is available on GitHub now and in the Play store test program after Google's approval.

    Changelog/download:
    https://github.com/M66B/FairEmail/releases

    Thanks @Rtxda for testing!
    20
    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.
    19
    Version 1.1907 is available on GitHub now and in the Play store test program after Google's approval.

    Changelog/download:
    https://github.com/M66B/FairEmail/releases
    18
    Version 1.1914 1.1915 is available on GitHub now.

    Changelog/download:
    https://github.com/M66B/FairEmail/releases

    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.
  • 236
    ic_launcher.png

    FairEmail
    Open source, privacy friendly email app for Android

    banner7_long.png


    See here for a description:
    https://github.com/M66B/open-source-email/

    See here for screenshots:
    https://email.faircode.eu/#screenshots

    Downloads:
    https://github.com/M66B/open-source-email#user-content-downloads

    Frequently asked questions:
    https://github.com/M66B/open-source-email/blob/master/FAQ.md

    Please read this before requesting a new feature:
    https://github.com/M66B/FairEmail/blob/master/FAQ.md#user-content-get-support

    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.
    68
    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:

    https://github.com/M66B/FairEmail/blob/master/PRIVACY.md#summary-of-shared-data

    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.
    49
    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).

    Changelog/download:
    https://github.com/M66B/FairEmail/releases

    My girlfriend is slowly recovering too :)
    46
    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.
    37
    I have just released alpha version 0.15

    Changelog/download:
    https://github.com/M66B/open-source-email/releases

    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.