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Molto review

Molto is an email app that makes your inbox exciting again.

Most e-mail software is mundane because it attempts to emulate Outlook or Gmail or just conform to a layout in which messages are listed in conventional text form. Molto does things differently by integrating previews of images or videos embedded in messages. If an image is not present but a message has an attachment such as a PDF file, Molto shows a coloured icon for that instead. Moreover, all messages are accompanied by an avatar that distinguishes the sender. The result is a much brighter e-mail browsing experience.

Molto for Android supports Gmail, iCloud, AOL, Yahoo!, GMX and IMAP accounts. To set up the former you enter the login information for your account, while for the latter you need to know the hostname, username and password for your incoming and outgoing mail servers. Once Molto has accessed your account it takes a few seconds to set up your Inbox and then you’re good to go.

What you give up for the benefit of a more colourful layout is that Molto can only fit a few messages on the screen at a time. That might be why the developers have so far made it only available for Android tablets and it only works in landscape mode. These are minor flaws, though, because it’s easy to browse message folders by swiping right to left to see messages that don’t fit on the screen.

On a weak network or a device low on memory messages can be slow to load, which might mean you are briefly staring at a bunch of empty rectangles. When everything has loaded properly, however, the result is an attractive, well-organised layout in which messages are easy to review at a glance. What’s more, you don’t have to open a message to read it: swiping up inside a message’s box will let you scroll through the text. Swiping down, meanwhile, provides icons for marking a message as read or as a favourite, archiving it or either forwarding or replying to it.

Tapping on a message produces a pleasing animation in which all message boxes disperse off the screen. The selected message then opens in an artsy screen that shows the subject line against a patterned background with the content below. Along the top of this screen are icons that give access to the same features you get by swiping down in folder view as well as the customary bin icon for trashing messages, an icon that allows you to move the message to another folder and a menu that includes the Reply All function for responding to multiple recipients.

Like most e-mail apps, Molto’s biggest limitation is the lack of formatting tools in its composing window. There is no way to add bold, italic or other enhancements to text. As you would expect, though, you can add attachments, including pictures and videos that can be captured directly from within the app. In almost every other respect Molto defies expectations and should make mobile e-mailing cheerful instead of a chore.