Most of us are spending more and more of our time working on our iPhones. In fact, just this week, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said he runs the entire company from his iPhone. One of the reasons why that's possible is because of the incredible number of apps available for everything from project management, to customer support, to email.

The native iOS Mail App has a lot of fans, and honestly, I want to like it. Unfortunately, the total lack of integration with other apps is a deal breaker for me. Especially since the share sheet in almost every other iOS app allows you to do simple things like save a document or photo in Dropbox. Not so in Mail.

Which is why I'm always looking for something that makes managing email faster and a little less painful. With that in mind, here are my top five mail apps for iPhone:

1. Spark

Spark is my top choice for a few reasons, but mostly because of the number of third-party apps you can connect. That list includes Things, Evernote, Dropbox, Trello, ToDo, Google Drive, and Reminders. It also allows you to snooze email so that they resurface when you're ready to deal with them, or schedule replies to go out later.

Those aren't totally unique features to Spark, but the app does each of them really well. It also includes a built-in calendar, which is convenient when it comes to scheduling appointments through email. And the email templates feature, which sync across all your devices, is truly a life-saver if you're in sales or frequently send similar email responses.

The one thing I really wish they would do (and I've asked them many times) is give you the ability to increase the number of preview lines that display in your inbox. The brand new design is a great improvement overall--which now includes dark mode--but that is still a glaring ommission that every other mail app includes. 

2. Gmail

The Gmail app has come a long way, and is now a formiddable alternative to Mail. In fact, now that you're able to add multiple email accounts, the biggest drawback is a lack of third-party integrations, or it would probably come out on top. It has the same simple layout and design you expect from Gmail, which I suppose is a benefit if you like its basic look and feel. Still, if your business uses Gmail, and Google in g >>DROPPED COPY HERE ADD<<

3. Airmail

Airmail actually has one of the best overall designs. In fact, I really wanted to pick it as the best option for power users, but then they went and changed over to a subscription model--and not just for new users. They started forcing those of us who had already paid for the app, to sign up for a monthly or annual subsription.

Plus, there are a few buggy features. For example, it marks incoming emails as read, even if they aren't. That's a big deal if you get as many emails as I do, since it's easy to miss something that isn't marked. 

4. Edison 

Edison is really good at organizing your email based on the content. For example, if you only want to see receipts, it'll show you those. Looking for the tracking number of that package you ordered, it has a section just for that. It's actually amazing. In fact, if you travel a lot, this is probably the best email app for you simply because of how easy it makes it to organize and locate your flight and hotel information without a third-party app.

The interface itself looks very similar to the native Mail App, which I like, but it has one glaring problem. If you use multiple email accounts, say one for work and one for personal, and want to move an email from one to the other, Edison won't let you. You can organize your emails, but can't move them between accounts. That's a huge deal for me since I save everything in one folder on my .Mac email account. 

5. Outlook

Outlook has long been Microsoft's solution for email, and it's used by millions of people every day. As a result, it got a little bulky and difficult to use for power users. The re-designed mobile app has none of those problems. It includes a "Focused Inbox" that prioritiezes you email based on who you communicate with most frequently, and it integrates with Microsoft products as well as Dropbox.

​It also has a built-in calendar, because it's, you know, Outlook. One standout feature of the calendar feature is that it gives you an at-a-glance look at who you're meeting with, which makes it easy to prepare without having to open each event like you do in the native iOS calendar app.

Published on: Nov 22, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.