I have a lot of mail traffic on my phone. But I want to be notified only for mail from certain contacts like my family, colleagues/boss, critical automated systems or at least any contact in my phone contact list (with email typed in).

Are there such applications which can access email on my personal/corporate server? Standard IMAP (or at least POP3) + SMTP, not some proprietary protocols like Exchange/Gmail.

  • Could you please edit your question with some details about your e-mail server? Is it Exchange, or SyncML, or something else? This will greatly limit your choice of Android apps. – Chahk Aug 3 '11 at 14:35
  • Related question: android.stackexchange.com/questions/8028/… – Denis Nikolaenko Aug 3 '11 at 20:43
  • That question assumes you are using the Gmail app, which you said you weren't interested in. I would look into 3rd-party e-mail solutions like K-9 Mail (for POP and IMAP) or "Exchange for Android", a.k.a. "Touchdown" (for well, exchange). – Chahk Aug 4 '11 at 0:35
  • Last time I checked, K9 did not support this. – Denis Nikolaenko Aug 4 '11 at 4:01
  • From Touchdown FAQ 1.3 Can I use TouchDown with my Gmail/Hotmail/Yahoo/POP3/IMAP account ? No, TouchDown will not work with any type of accounts that are not hosted on a Microsoft Exchange server (or a compatible ActiveSync Server). No dice :( – Denis Nikolaenko Aug 4 '11 at 4:03

I haven't found a standalone app but K9 in conjunction with WhoIsIt Lite supports this. It doesn't do away with visual notifications mind you, but it can silence them.

Alternatively you could investigate whether your workplace email support server based rules. You could use them to filter unimportant emails into a folder other than your inbox. Android's stock email app only checks for new emails in your inbox so the app would ignore the others.

  • Some functionality (customization of notifications per application) is already present in CyanogenMod. – Denis Nikolaenko Nov 28 '12 at 22:21
  • not particularly surprising since this is eight years old, but link to app is broken, does not show up with search in Play store – joseph_morris Apr 28 '20 at 21:27

You can use Gmail filters to label these messages, and set the notifications to only be for specific labels.

  • 2
    I do not use Gmail. I do not trust Google with my personal email. – Denis Nikolaenko Aug 3 '11 at 4:10
  • out of curiosity, why don't you trust Google with your email? – jlehenbauer Aug 4 '11 at 17:19
  • @Denis ..well then an Android phone is probably not the best choice for you ;) – Juri Aug 5 '11 at 6:49
  • @Juri Android is the only phone OS with open sources and allows modifications without restrictions. For paranoids like me Android OS is as practical as it can be: open source and with established application market. I just do not use closed source, privacy infringing Google components, that is all. – Denis Nikolaenko Aug 5 '11 at 9:52

I think most mail clients (like Touchdown, and the default mailclient, etc) do not have support for sophisticated notification schemes like you want. I suggest disabling your mail-reading app's notifications and trying a separate email notification app.

Poking around the market I found this app:
and this app:

I have not tried either of these apps, but the descriptions seem a reasonable match for your problem.

I searched the market for 'email notification' and 'email filter' (the search returned a lot of irrelevant stuff, so there may be other useful apps buried in the results)....

  • Still looking for an email app with this functionality. But standalone app is better than nothing, awarded bounty, thanks. – Denis Nikolaenko Sep 24 '11 at 12:58

I just needed to do this and it was fairly easy using this method:

Install IFTTT (free app that supports all kinds of awesome rules).
Create a new "applet" where:
IF This: checks gmail for messages according to whatever criteria you want
Then That: send notification

I'm doing this to try to get exchange messages from work (but cannot access or send content outside of work). I wound up creating a rule in outlook that sends a new message to my gmail account with a set subject/body (via a script). IFTTT searches for new messages with that subject and pops up a notification.

I used this page to help me create the script to create a new message: http://www.slipstick.com/outlook/rules/send-a-new-message-when-a-message-arrives/

I saw that you don't trust Google with your personal mail. The gmail account you use could be a dummy account (I assume you may already do this since you're on android). Or you could use an alternative trigger from IFTTT.


If you don't mind paying money check out touchdown. There is a free trial but I think it will do what you want.


  • 1
    TouchDown will not work with any type of accounts that are not hosted on a Microsoft Exchange server (or a compatible ActiveSync Server). – Denis Nikolaenko Sep 18 '11 at 23:28

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