I know the Email app can fetch multiple accounts at same time, but apart from that are there any other major differences?

If I only need to fetch stuff from the one gmail account, which app should I use? I only connect to the internet using wifi, so offline usability is desirable.

Running Android 4.1.1 on a Nexus 7.

  • Is the "email app" the one which is installed by default on a (Samsung) device? Sep 28, 2013 at 9:35

2 Answers 2


The main difference that I can see is the type of accounts that are supported:

  • The Gmail APP is limited to accounts from Google: [email protected]

    • read and respond to your conversations online & offline
    • Manage multiple accounts
    • View and save attachments
    • Set up label notifications
  • Email APP: username@your_domain.com

    The main feature is that it works with all email providers, but its a very basic APP, you can send and receive emails, but no search capabilities present.

  • 1
    The Gmail part is a little misleading. It doesn't have to be a Gmail account, it works with Apps accounts too. (I'm using one)
    – user13391
    Jul 26, 2012 at 6:45
  • @RichardBorcsik Are you referring to Google Apps for Business?
    – Zuul
    Jul 26, 2012 at 8:51
  • Yep! I meant that. You don't get a gmail address and it's not even called Gmail on the controll panel, but plain email.
    – user13391
    Jul 26, 2012 at 16:54
  • 1
    Well as of now we can gmail/gooogle account plus the aol, yahoo mail and hotmail also in the Gmail APP..@Zuul
    – Lucky
    Jun 9, 2015 at 6:59

The Gmail application speaks Gmail's own proprietary protocol back to the Gmail server, whereas the Email application speaks open protocols such as POP3 or IMAP, as well as supporting ActiveSync. The Email application also has somewhat better support for multiple accounts.

If you are only using a single Gmail account then it is better to use the Gmail application, but if you're using multiple accounts, or non-Gmail accounts, you'll want to use Email. Personally, I use Gmail for my Gmail account (which I only use for Google-specific purposes) and Email for my IMAP.

  • 2
    The Gmail app works just fine for multiple accounts. I manage three separate accounts and it works well for me. (Early iterations of the app didn't work with multiple accounts very well, but they fixed that some time ago.)
    – ale
    Jul 25, 2012 at 19:15
  • Same here. I have 4 different Google accounts on my phone. The Gmail apps supports labels,archiving sending email from aliases etc.
    – user13391
    Jul 26, 2012 at 6:46
  • Does it support a unified inbox across all accounts? That's the big feature that was always missing for me, even recently.
    – fluffy
    Jul 26, 2012 at 18:56

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