When comparing K-9 vs Spark, the Slant community recommends K-9 for most people. In the question“What are the best free email clients for Android?” K-9 is ranked 2nd while Spark is ranked 3rd.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro No privacy concerns
Pro Free an open source
K-9 is available for free and licensed under the Apache License version 2.0 with source code available here.
Pro Complete PGP encryption
It's possible to complete encrypt email communications via PGP using K-9.
K-9 mail does not use too many system resources when using the app, which allow it to be fast and lightweight.
Works well with locally maintained IMAP server.
Pro Material UI version
There is a fork of K-9 available on Google Play that uses Material design, improves the interface a lot.
Pro Excellent email threading
Threaded email support is better than most.
Pro Optimized for phone and tablet
On a tablet the UI looks a little different but given the extra real estate is logical.
Options to enable UI widgets a plus, can be enabled on a tablet and disabled on a phone.
Pro Custom quick swipe features
Pro Robust customization options
Pro Syncs across devices
Pro Unified inbox
Pro Free snooze options
Con Noisy UI
The user interface is bland and tries to cram a lot of information on screen, making it unpleasant to use.
Con Emails received as forwarded EML attachments are not natively supported
When you receive an email which was forwarded as an EML attachment, K-9 Mail is not able to open it natively. It opens it using a third-party application registered for this mime-type on the device, if any. The Gmail email client app is able to read the EML attachments, thus you need to have it installed as well (or any other EML capable app).
Con Dead app
- Sends statistical data to several services known for bad privacy policies (Google, Facebook), also there's no way to opt out.
- Automatically creates an acount with the first address entered and subscribes you to their newsletter.
- Stores credentials for your email accounts on their servers.
- Stores your emails on their servers to push them to your devices.
- Server infrastructure seems to be located in the US.
Con Doesn't support many services
Many services such as Spam filters, Pocket, and other apps are not supported.
Con Doesn't show the counts of emails next to the folders
- On the Mac platform will show +999 for the folder that contains more than 1000 emails.
- On the iPhone, the platform will not show the counts next to the folder unless they are new emails.