When comparing Airmail vs Gmail, the Slant community recommends Gmail for most people. In the question“What are the best Gmail clients for iOS?” Gmail is ranked 1st while Airmail is ranked 9th. The most important reason people chose Gmail is:
Gmail brings much of the functionality and power of Google's search engine to the app's search. You can use operators such as *label:*, *is:*, *OR*, *has:* among others, define date ranges, limit search to specific groups and so on. And, you can do it all amazingly fast. The search will also try to predict what you're trying to search for before you've even finished your query and offer up those results.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Clean interface
Airmail has a very clean and modern interface. On the left side of the screen are the folders (inbox, starred, draft, sent, snooze, trash) and on the right side the email threads for the folder currently being viewed.
Pro Multiple ways of sorting emails
There are multiple ways to sort emails with Airmail. You can sort by unread, starred, attachments, conversations, dates, and many more criteria. You can even combine different criteria together.
Using these filters makes it extremely easy to quickly find any email you are looking for.
Pro Always keep the inbox clean
Airmail allows users to snooze an email until a defined moment (a few hours later, tomorrow, next weekend, next week, etc.), allowing you to process every email immediately and to always keep the inbox clean.
Pro Extremely customizable
Instead of forcing the user to work with their email the way Airmail developers would want, it allows the user to customize and make the email client work the way they want because of the sheer flexibility of the application.
There's a lot of settings available in Airmail with which you can customize almost every aspect and functionality of the app. In fact, it's very easy to get lost in them and spend a lot of time tweaking and customizing everything to your liking.
Pro Supports Gmail shortcuts
Pro Fast and easy setup process
Even though there's a huge amount of settings available, it's quite easy to get used to each of them and the setup process is very fast and easy.
Pro Support for VIP folders
VIP folders are for particular senders which you always want to read even when you are ignoring email. The way it works is that you add different senders as VIPs and emails from those senders will always be surfaced on top of everything else.
Pro Supports trackpad gestures
Airmail is able to use trackpad gestures for achieving and deleting mail items.
Pro Consistent interface between devices
Airmail is available for both iOS and Mac, for people who use Apple's mobile devices. And the interface between both platforms is quite consistent, making it easy to seamlessly jump between one and another.
Pro Automatically syncs settings between devices
If you are using Airmail in different devices (either MacOS or iOS), you can automatically sync settings through iCloud.
Pro Integrates with multiple third-party services
Airmail can integrate with multiple Cloud services for syncing, creating backups, adding tasks and more. Some of these services include Dropbox, Box, Fantastical, 2DO, Todoist, Wunderlist etc.
Pro Incredibly fast, advanced & predictive search
Gmail brings much of the functionality and power of Google's search engine to the app's search. You can use operators such as label:, is:, OR, has: among others, define date ranges, limit search to specific groups and so on. And, you can do it all amazingly fast. The search will also try to predict what you're trying to search for before you've even finished your query and offer up those results.
Pro Best support for Gmail features
Since both the Gmail Android app and Gmail itself is made by Google, the app supports all features Gmail offers (like labeling/starring) and gets new features implemented early - usually as soon as they are announced.
Pro Comes bundled with Android for free
Not only is the application free, it comes bundled with the Android OS by default so you don't even have to bother downloading it.
Pro Google Drive integration
The app allows inserting files from Drive straight to email or uploading attachments to Drive before sending them out. It will also notify if the person you're sending the file can open the file or if you should change the sharing settings for that file beforehand. Finally, you can choose which one of your Google accounts you want visible in the app.
Pro Google Calendar integration
Pro Tabs to automatically organize your e-mail
Gmail offers the ability to automatically organize your mail into specific categories:
Each of the categories can be disabled and you can move your mail around from category to category or set your own rules which sender should be put in which category.
Pro Threaded conversations
Pro Safely automatically displays images
The app does not require a confirmation to show images as Google now hosts the images on their own servers making it safe. You can still disable the automatic displaying of images in the settings if you wish.
There are many issues/bugs with different accounts, including Gmail and iCloud.
Con Inability to turn off auto-creation of labels
Version 3 does not allow it while version 2 did.
Con Copying/moving mails unreliable
Doesn't work most of the time even though the operation is reported as successful. Even has lost emails when moving. Support was not too much use either.
Con Serious sync problems
On some IMAP accounts, there are a number of serious sync problems, which otherwise work fine with Apple Mail.
Con UI is a little busy
Con Not free
Paid version only.
Con Rather expensive
Con Has the "slow typing" bug
When composing an email, Airmail can respond very slowly to keystrokes. Customer service refuses to acknowledge this problem, responding that it's "not real" - which is a very odd response, to simply refuse to acknowledge the customer's experience.
Con Sorting mail by Unread is unintuitive
Nearly every other mail app has a clear way to sort mail by Unread. In Gmail app you can do that only by typing “label:unread” in the search field.
Con Very limited HTML composing
Composing of HTML formatted mails is very limited. No inline images and only some basic text formatting options
Con No intrinsic p2p encryption option
Con Too heavy
It should be lightweight.