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

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ianmacd

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Jan 5, 2016
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Thanks for the idea. However, that is what is basically was before, but not everybody understood it was expandable (could be drop down), which is why I replaced the expander up/down icons with a settings wheel, which looks like a button, hoping people can better find this.

As a recent convert to FairEmail, it took me a while to realise that this was where I needed to be to edit my account settings.

What confused me was that the tab that contains this is named Start, the section heading is named Add accounts, there's a big Wizard button, and the text of the expandable section contains the wording Manual setup. All of which led me to believe this screen was only for initial account entry, not for subsequent account editing. It took me a few minutes to figure it out.

In fact, this one detail has probably been the most confusing thing I have encountered so far in what is otherwise a commendably intuitive app.
 

M66B

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Aug 1, 2010
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As a recent convert to FairEmail, it took me a while to realise that this was where I needed to be to edit my account settings.

What confused me was that the tab that contains this is named Start, the section heading is named Add accounts, there's a big Wizard button, and the text of the expandable section contains the wording Manual setup. All of which led me to believe this screen was only for initial account entry, not for subsequent account editing. It took me a few minutes to figure it out.

In fact, this one detail has probably been the most confusing thing I have encountered so far in what is otherwise a commendably intuitive app.
I understand, but how would you improve this, without hiding the manual setup somewhere else, which has proven to result in even more questions.

Edit: not hiding the manual setup has resulting in lots of bad reviews "too complicated".
 
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ianmacd

Senior Member
Jan 5, 2016
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I understand, but how would you improve this, without hiding the manual setup somewhere else, which has proven to result in even more questions.

Edit: not hiding the manual setup has resulting in lots of bad reviews "too complicated".

Your question makes me feel like a bit of a dinosaur. For the past 25+ years, I've been entering POP3, IMAP4 and SMTP server details into e-mail clients, so the idea that openly displaying the fields that allow one to do this would be seen as complicated, let alone so complex that they put some people off the app and lead them to leave a bad review is a bit bemusing to me. Then again, if you've only ever used GMail before, then perhaps it is daunting to see settings whose meaning and relevance you don't understand.

I think you probably have the manual set-up in the right place, but under a slightly misleading heading: Start. All of your headings consist of a single word, so in keeping with that, I would suggest Accounts.

Alternatively, you could move that screen out of Settings and make it its own entry in the sidebar menu. I've seen other clients that separate account creation/configuration from other settings in this way. Whether that's intuitive, though, probably depends on whether you've encountered the paradigm before.

In my own case, it was primarily the Start name that confused me; in combination with the choice to prominently number the steps on that screen:
  1. Add accounts
  2. Grant permissions
  3. Disable battery optimisations
These 3 steps are presented to the user to follow the first time the app is started. Steps 2 and 3 even get a tick next to them after completion, and their buttons greyed out to indicate that the steps do not need to be repeated.

By association, this led me to falsely commit step 1 to memory as something in the same category, namely a stage I would not need to return to. In combination with the name of that tab, Start, this caused me to look pretty much everywhere else first when I later needed to edit the account settings, since I knew that this was no longer a "start", and I remembered the components on that screen as being permissions and such, which are typically a one-time grant on Android.

It's not a big issue, of course. Everyone will eventually figure it out, but since you mentioned that some others had not realised that the manual set-up text was actually an expandable panel, I thought I'd chime in with my own experience of that screen.

By the way, thank you for making the legend so easily accessible. FairEmail contains a lot of icons, many of whose meanings are obvious, but a few of which are not. Being able to get straight to a brief cheat sheet without scrolling through pages of help text to find the right section is great for someone who hasn't learned all of the meanings yet.

The only thing that isn't obvious to me now is the meaning of some of the parameters displayed in the square brackets of entries in the Operations screen, particularly the Boolean parameters. If it's documented somewhere, I've missed it.
 
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M66B

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Aug 1, 2010
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Your question makes me feel like a bit of a dinosaur. For the past 25+ years, I've been entering POP3, IMAP4 and SMTP server details into e-mail clients, so the idea that openly displaying the fields that allow one to do this would be seen as complicated, let alone so complex that they put some people off the app and lead them to leave a bad review is a bit bemusing to me. Then again, if you've only ever used GMail before, then perhaps it is daunting to see settings whose meaning and relevance you don't understand.

I think you probably have the manual set-up in the right place, but under a slightly misleading heading: Start. All of your headings consist of a single word, so in keeping with that, I would suggest Accounts.

Alternatively, you could move that screen out of Settings and make it its own entry in the sidebar menu. I've seen other clients that separate account creation/configuration from other settings in this way. Whether that's intuitive, though, probably depends on whether you've encountered the paradigm before.

In my own case, it was primarily the Start name that confused me; in combination with the choice to prominently number the steps on that screen:
  1. Add accounts
  2. Grant permissions
  3. Disable battery optimisations
These 3 steps are presented to the user to follow the first time the app is started. Steps 2 and 3 even get a tick next to them after completion, and their buttons greyed out to indicate that the steps do not need to be repeated.

By association, this led me to falsely commit step 1 to memory as something in the same category, namely a stage I would not need to return to. In combination with the name of that tab, Start, this caused me to look pretty much everywhere else first when I later needed to edit the account settings, since I knew that this was no longer a "start", and I remembered the components on that screen as being permissions and such, which are typically a one-time grant on Android.

It's not a big issue, of course. Everyone will eventually figure it out, but since you mentioned that some others had not realised that the manual set-up text was actually an expandable panel, I thought I'd chime in with my own experience of that screen.

By the way, thank you for making the legend so easily accessible. FairEmail contains a lot of icons, many of whose meanings are obvious, but a few of which are not. Being able to get straight to a brief cheat sheet without scrolling through pages of help text to find the right section is great for someone who hasn't learned all of the meanings yet.

The only thing that isn't obvious to me now is the meaning of some of the parameters displayed in the square brackets of entries in the Operations screen, particularly the Boolean parameters. If it's documented somewhere, I've missed it.
In earlier versions 'Start' was 'Main'. Would that be clearer?

The operation parameters are for debugging purposes, so not really documented. Sometimes they are useful though, which is why they are being shown.

Edit: how about changing "Manual setup and more options" into "Manual setup and more account options" ?
 
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ianmacd

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Jan 5, 2016
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In earlier versions 'Start' was 'Main'. Would that be clearer?

Edit: how about changing "Manual setup and more options" into "Manual setup and more account options" ?

Personally, I think Main is only slightly better than Start. I think changing more options to more account options is a good improvement, though.

While I have your attention, I have another suggestion for an improvement.

I can swipe left or right on individual messages from the mailbox view, but as soon as I long-press a message to enter multi-select mode, I can no longer swipe. Now I have to tap the floating circle and select an action from the menu that appears. It would be more convenient for deletion and archival to allow swiping from within multi-select mode, too. The workflow would be more fluid that way.
 

fraschi51

Senior Member
Mar 17, 2016
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228
In my opinion, the heading 'Start' does not really make sense at this point - I have therefore translated it in the German translation into 'Haupteinstellungen', in English 'Main-settings'.
I also like 'more account options'.
Moving in multi-select mode can be quite dangerous, so I would rather do without it.
 
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M66B

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Personally, I think Main is only slightly better than Start. I think changing more options to more account options is a good improvement, though.

While I have your attention, I have another suggestion for an improvement.

I can swipe left or right on individual messages from the mailbox view, but as soon as I long-press a message to enter multi-select mode, I can no longer swipe. Now I have to tap the floating circle and select an action from the menu that appears. It would be more convenient for deletion and archival to allow swiping from within multi-select mode, too. The workflow would be more fluid that way.
Long pressing starts multiple selection. Swiping a selection is not supported by Android, probably because it is not a good idea.
 

M66B

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Aug 1, 2010
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Version 1.1521 is available on GitHub now.

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

The settings tab titles are a bit smaller, except 'Main'. I like to hear opinions about this.

'Manual setup and more account options' uses a drop-down icon now.

You can copy a local note by long pressing the notes button (you can enable it in the button selector via the horizontal three-dots menu). Also, the keyboard will be shown right away when adding a local note.
 

heinhuiz

Senior Member
Nov 26, 2011
771
310
'Manual setup and more account options' uses a drop-down icon now.
Why don't you use a right arrow when the menu is closed and a down arrow when it is expanded? Github does that for the 'Assets' drop down and it seems quite natural to me.
Maybe you can even use frame borders around the expanded menu. And I think you can remove the underline in the menu title, at least when it is expanded (but like mentioned before by someone, it looks like an external link).
 

M66B

Recognized Developer
Aug 1, 2010
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Why don't you use a right arrow when the menu is closed and a down arrow when it is expanded? Github does that for the 'Assets' drop down and it seems quite natural to me.
Maybe you can even use frame borders around the expanded menu. And I think you can remove the underline in the menu title, at least when it is expanded (but like mentioned before by someone, it looks like an external link).
The underlining will be removed in the next version.

I think a down arrow is more appropriate because it says what it does, expanding down.

I have tried borders, but it doesn't look good and it 'conflicts' with the existing lines.

Thanks for the suggestions!
 
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Friedel25

Member
Mar 17, 2016
25
25
Hannover
Could the heading state more clearly that existing accounts and identities can be edited here? Instead of 1 Add accounts, it could be e.g. 1 Add/edit accounts or 1 Add/edit accounts and identities.
 
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M66B

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Aug 1, 2010
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Could the heading state more clearly that existing accounts and identities can be edited here? Instead of 1 Add accounts, it could be e.g. 1 Add/edit accounts or 1 Add/edit accounts and identities.
I am afraid this will confuse new users, which is the core reason the setup screen was simplified as much as possible.
 

zzz2002

Senior Member
Dec 5, 2012
193
29
Toronto
I ran into a problem recently when I tried to change the password on my email account. I would go to setup screen, open manual mode, open the account(IMAP) change the PW, hit check. It would fail.
In the end the only way round the was to remove the account and add it back.
I suspect a bad case of finger trouble on my part, however there a known problem in changing PWs.
 

M66B

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Aug 1, 2010
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I ran into a problem recently when I tried to change the password on my email account. I would go to setup screen, open manual mode, open the account(IMAP) change the PW, hit check. It would fail.
In the end the only way round the was to remove the account and add it back.
I suspect a bad case of finger trouble on my part, however there a known problem in changing PWs.
I am pretty sure there is no problem with changing passwords.
 

ianmacd

Senior Member
Jan 5, 2016
2,331
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Amsterdam
localhost
I've just migrated a very large mailbox from the UNIX spool to a backend running an IMAP server. The move was successful and I can now retrieve the messages using a variety of IMAP clients.

There's only one tiny problem: The migration predictably caused the delivery agent to add one further Received header to each old message to indicate its new delivery time.

This has no effect at all on any of the 6 other IMAP clients I tested after the migration, but it seems that FairEmail takes the time of the most recent Received header and uses that to index the message, rather than the Date header.

Is there any way to instruct FairEmail to use the Date header instead of the Received header for indexing and displaying messages? It's rather offputting to have thousands of messages all apparently sent within a few seconds of each other, and would be inconvenient to have to use a second client just to be able to view these old messages sorted in the proper order.
 

fraschi51

Senior Member
Mar 17, 2016
913
228
I've just migrated a very large mailbox from the UNIX spool to a backend running an IMAP server. The move was successful and I can now retrieve the messages using a variety of IMAP clients.

There's only one tiny problem: The migration predictably caused the delivery agent to add one further Received header to each old message to indicate its new delivery time.

This has no effect at all on any of the 6 other IMAP clients I tested after the migration, but it seems that FairEmail takes the time of the most recent Received header and uses that to index the message, rather than the Date header.

Is there any way to instruct FairEmail to use the Date header instead of the Received header for indexing and displaying messages? It's rather offputting to have thousands of messages all apparently sent within a few seconds of each other, and would be inconvenient to have to use a second client just to be able to view these old messages sorted in the proper order.
Yes, in the 1st setup-screen open 'manuel setup and more account options', klick on accounts, then on the desired account, then on 'advanced', there you find the setting possibility.
 
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  • 8
    Version 1.1558 is available on GitHub now and in the Play store test program after Google's approval.

    Changelog/download:
    https://github.com/M66B/FairEmail/releases
    1
    Here it works also as usual.
    1
    Hello to all of you, FairEmail users and enthusiasts.
    I am relatively new to FairEmail but have been reading this topic from page 860 to 915, to keep sort of up to date with the latest news and discussions.
    I know that FairEmail have commonly standard values but, if possible, I was wondering if some of you could offer your "2 cents" about the following options:
    - Require a valid (checked) connection. I don't use VPN. When should it enabled?
    - Disconnect tracker protection list. Should enable to track images? Does it have an impact on battery?
    I hope I am not off topic.
    Thank you for your time.
    Best regards,
    Luis.

    Btw, highest modseq is enabled by default since version 1.1552, right?
    You can probably enable the option to use a checked connection only. Just try and you'll know.

    Using Disconnect's tracker list will not result in extra battery usage.

    Highest modseq is enabled by default for everybody now. I have not seen any problems with this.
  • 12
    Version 1.1551 is available on GitHub now.

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

    There is one new feature which is hidden for now because it is still experimental: using HighestModSeq for a quick check if a sync is necessary on reconnecting. This will probably reduce battery and data usage, especially when there are many reconnects due to an unstable / often changing internet connection. The email server needs to support the CONDSTORE IMAP extension for this. For example Gmail and Dovecot based email servers, like of Disroot.org, do.

    You can enable this option by temporary enabling debug mode in the miscellaneous settings and enabling the MODSEQ option. You can disable debug mode again after this.
    12
    Version 1.1541 is available on GitHub now:

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

    A number of things, like periodically checking for new messages, waking up messages after snoozing, checking if sent messages exist on the email server, etc, were moved either to the sync or send service to comply with new restrictions on foreground services in the upcoming Android 12. This is a significant change, which is why this is an ALPHA VERSION !!!
    11
    Version 1.1539 is available on GitHub now.

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

    There is a new widget to quickly enable or disable synchronization for all accounts.
    11
    Version 1.1546 1.1547 1.1548 1.1549 is available on GitHub now and in the Play store test program after Google's approval.

    Changelog/download:
    https://github.com/M66B/FairEmail/releases
    11
    Version 1.1555 is available on GitHub now and in the Play store test program after Google's approval.

    Changelog/download:
    https://github.com/M66B/FairEmail/releases
  • 194
    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/

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

    See this XDA article for some screenshots:
    https://www.xda-developers.com/fairemail-open-source-privacy-friendly-email/

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

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

    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.


    XDA:DevDB Information
    FairEmail, App for all devices (see above for details)

    Contributors
    M66B
    Source Code: https://github.com/M66B/open-source-email/


    Version Information
    Status:
    Stable

    Created 2018-08-02
    Last Updated 2020-11-18
    40
    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.
    36
    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.
    36
    I have just released alpha version 0.10

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

    I have put many hours into developing and debugging this release, so thanks are appreciated.

    This version is still not suitable for production, but all basic functions are present now. The goal is now to stabilize this version into a first beta release, so please let me hear what problems you have.

    Edit: due to database changes you'll need to setup your accounts/identities again.
    32
    I have just released beta version 1.745

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

    The changelog might seem uninteresting, but in fact displaying messages has been rewritten to introduce inline displaying of original messages. I spent about two days developing and testing this, so at least a "thanks" will be appreciated.

    Some background: normally the web view cannot be used in a scrolling list (of messages in a conversation) and although there exist several workarounds for this, none were satisfactory. However, I had a completely novel idea (as far as I know) about how to approach this without the usual edge cases (hopefully) !

    To do: investigate if using a dark background is feasible (setting the background dark is simple, but the challenge is to modify the message so that everything is still readable). I will consider to add an option to always display original messages.

    Please report any problem you discover, so it can be fixed.
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