When comparing Gmail vs FastMail, the Slant community recommends Gmail for most people. In the question“What are the best online webmail services?” Gmail is ranked 1st while FastMail is ranked 2nd. 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 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.
Pro Traditional revenue model increases likelihood of personal data privacy and safety
Depending on your point of view, requiring to pay for Fastmail is actually a positive aspect of the service. This way you know the company is at least making some revenue (they have been around since 2010) and you know who the customer is. Pricing is as follows (go here for their on-site pricing info).
Pro Offers more control over email
Gmail has a tendency to dumb down the interface (try to sort by sender). Fastmail gives full control over email, just like a "traditional" client would.
Pro Human support team
As you are their customer, Fastmail provides human support.
Pro Offers IMAP migration tool
Get your old email out of Gmail easily with their migration tool.
Pro Simple email actioning
Like gmail, you can "Pin" emails to the top of your inbox to deal with later with either a checkbox or the keyboard shortcut. Like Gmail you can also both archive and delete emails.
As Fastmail does away with all the extra bells and whistles of Gmail it is super fast to interact with. It also has faster IMAP and SMTP performance than Gmail.
Pro Fully responsive interface
The Fastmail interface is fully responsive across all browser sizes.
Supports two-factor authentication, one-time passwords and fully encrypted connections.
Pro Integrated file storage
Fastmail allows saving attachments and other files into their own file storage system for easy retrieval later.
Pro Adjustable spam filter
On writing this Fastmail has Basic, Normal, Aggressive or Customisable spam filtering which can be selected in the Advanced settings.
Each user has an individually trainable bayes database to improve spam filtering. You can train your personal bayes database by selecting some messages and using the Report spam and Report Non-Spam options from the Action menu on the Mailbox screen.
For IMAP users who don't use the web interface much, you can specify folders as spam/non-spam training folders on the Folders screen. Then just move messages into those folders as appropriate to train your bayes database.
For your personal bayes databases to be active, you have to train it with at least 200 spam messages and 200 non-spam messages. If you haven't trained enough messages, then we use a global continuously updated bayes database against your incoming messages, which helps detect spam/non-spam, but isn't as good as a personally trained one.
Pro Intuitive default filters
Fastmail automatically filters your email into:
- Mailing Lists
Pro Custom sieve scripts
You can write your own Sieve scripts for filtering/rerouting email.
Pro Proper support for folders
FastMail has full support for folders, unlike Gmail where you only have labels.
Pro Identities & aliases practically gives you a new email that you can manage from a single account
With identities and aliases, you can set up a completely new email address that can be managed from your account, without paying for more. As of time of this writing, FastMail offers up to 500 identities and 600 aliases per account, regardless of plan type.
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.