While Amazon wisely included a mail app on the Kindle Fire, I have been less than satisfied with it. The main problem I have with the Fire’s mail app is that it doesn’t work well with Gmail. Fortunately, I have found a free alternate in the Amazon Appstore called K-9 Mail that I think is better than the mail app that comes with the Fire.
K-9 Mail is an open source mail app that has been available for Android devices for some time. Originally, Android devices licensed to use Google’s software came with two mail apps, Gmail and Mail, with Google intending people to use Mail to access mail other than Gmail. The original Mail app from Google was pretty bare bones and K-9 Mail was developed as an alternate to it.
My understanding is that K-9 Mail is based on Gmail, and that is why I find it to be a better alternate for the Kindle Fire. K-9 Mail displays many more mail items on the screen than the Fire’s Mail apps and it supports two key Gmail features, starring and archiving, that the Fire’s mail app does not support.
When you have a message open in K-9 tap Menu, More, to Archive the message, add a star, or report it as spam. You can also star a message by tapping the star at the top right on the message screen as well as within the inbox.
Another major benefit of K-9 Mail for Kindle Fire users is that it provides better notifications for new mail. In my experience the Kindle Fire’s Mail app does not consistently provide notifications, and I have to open the app and tap refresh to get new mail.
One the main things I do in Gmail on my phone is review and delete messages that I don’t want to read. With the Gmail app on my Nexus S, I just tap the check box to the left of the subject of the messages I want to delete, then tap Delete. To get the same experience in K-9 tap Menu, More, Settings; next tap Global Settings, then Display, scroll down and select the Multi-select Checkboxes option.
The Kindle Fire’s mail app does not provide bulk selection options, while K-9 does, which makes it a better mail app, in my opinion. If you plan to use the Kindle Fire to manage your e-mail messages I strongly recommend that you try out the K-9 Mail app.