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reMail App Makes Mockery of iPhone Email

Gordon Kelly


I don't often write about individual smartphone apps, but this one catches my attention because 1. It's rather good and 2. it shows Apple how proper email search should be done.

'reMail 2' (#1 passed us by) is a remarkably fast and comprehensive alternative to the iPhone's own default mail client. Much like the existing client, it can download new email, reply or forward it and write and send new emails. What is its key differentiator however is lightning fast, full text search.

In essence, this means searches can be made for senders, subjects or through any body copy and results are returned virtually instantly with your search terms clearly highlighted. How does it manage to be so comprehensive and eliminate any semblance of lag? Because, unlike the iPhone email client, reMail 2 downloads the full content of your inbox.

This might sound like a storage nightmare but attachments are left out, unless requested, and everything is heavily compressed. For example, the 45,000+ emails in my account were downloaded overnight and took up just 300MB of space instead of the near 5GB they occupy on my mail server. The second benefit is you don't need to be online to search your entire email contents. Handy when either without signal or when travelling abroad to avoid data charges.

The downside to reMail 2, for my money, is it's overpriced at £2.99. It also doesn't support Exchange and you can only sync one account at a time. That said, if you regularly need to search for information in your email then it is worth its weight in gold and certainly shows Apple how to do email search properly...

17.02.10 Update: Google has now bought reMail for an undisclosed amount. Clearly it has an eye for talent and its eventual integration into Android could be quite something. Consequently reMail has been removed from the App Store, but existing users can keep using the app. The code for the reMail iPhone app has also been made open source.




August 17, 2009, 5:41 am

looks really good. Do it support Push Noti? I can easily dump iphone email client... slow and sometimes doesnt download the full email.

Howz the security like on this app btw as it has the history of you all over it?


August 17, 2009, 6:08 am

@xbrumster - no push notifications and all email is downloaded locally and not accessible by the reMail AFAIK. You cannot delete emails via reMail so it isn't meant as a complete replacement for the iPhone client, but it is significantly better in many key aspects.


August 17, 2009, 3:45 pm

How did this get approved? I thought Apple didn't allow programs that competed with their own.

How is £2.99 too much? Developers have to survive somehow.

Anyway, i'm sure before long Apple will copy the features of reMail and so the developer has to make his money while he can (apologies for sexiest assumption the programmer is a man).


August 17, 2009, 3:46 pm

Do I understand the article correctly, that if I am using my iPhone as my mail client for my work Microsoft Exchange email account, then this won't work for me?

Shame if so, as this would be a godsend as I've got 3000+ work emails in my inbox that I need to search for all the time...


August 17, 2009, 4:56 pm

@Dan as the article states, Exchange isn't supported, nor are multiple accounts. Perhaps in a future update...

Ian 17

August 17, 2009, 6:54 pm

Are you serious, Gordon???!!! - "Makes a mockery of iPhone Email", "...remarkably fast and comprehensive alternative...", "...lightning fast, full text search...", "...if you regularly need to search for information in your email then it is worth its weight in gold.." - and you don't think it's worth a paltry £2.99? I blame Apple for bringing iPhone application development down to bargain basement territory (and keeping it there), pushing serious application developers away in the process. However, I never expected to read a comment like "...for my money, is it's overpriced at £2.99.." from a TrustedReviews writer in this particular context. I haven't lived in the UK for a couple of years, but isn't that about the price of a sandwich from the supermarket? I'll bet the developer was thinking he'd just increased his chances of making a living from his efforts...at least he did until until he read your last paragraph. "Lightening email search on my iPhone...or a Tesco's BLT...lightening email search...or a Tesco's BLT...hmmmm..." - what do you think represents value for money for this app then, Gordon, £1.99, £0.99? Don't those fart apps cost over a quid?! Think very very carefully before busting out the iPhone SDK people...


August 18, 2009, 6:53 am

Dear Ian, please... breathe.

Unfortunately you are not considering context. £400 for TV is cheap, £400 for an MP3 player is expensive. Alternative iPhone email client applications are generally priced around the 59p/99p mark, so reMail 2 is comparatively expensive.

Furthermore, while you happily quote me repeatedly to make your point you actually miss out my most pertinent statement: "if you regularly need to search for information in your email then it is WORTH ITS WEIGHT IN GOLD".

Now please, calm down.

PS - And no, fart apps don't costs over a quid.

Ian 17

August 19, 2009, 1:49 pm

What a condescending reply!

I think there's a substantial difference between writing what you wrote, and "If you regularly need to search for information in your email then it is worth its weight in gold, otherwise £2.99 is comparatively expensive."

That would be an improvement in my opinion, but even if you had wrote that, I'd still disagree with your comparison. Why? Because alternative iPhone email client applications may well be priced around the 59p/99p mark, as are fart apps (thanks for putting me straight there), but the prices for "serious" apps are to a large extent driven down by the inadequacies of the iPhone App Store. I think this is the context that really matters, and not the more superficial comparisons which you're making.

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