As web-based email goes, it's hard to beat Gmail. The feature set is unparalleled. It's fast, it's easy, and it's so extensible that it's doubtful that any two people use it in precisely the same way.
Even so, it can always get better. At least, that's what Boomerang thinks, and I tend to agree. Boomerang is a product built entirely on the back of Gmail, and, if you're not familiar, the premise is simple: Boomerang lets you schedule any email for later. Boomerang an email in your inbox, or one that you intend to send out, and Boomerang will whisk it away and return it to you at a time you specify. It's extremely handy, but to be honest, I'd forgotten about it. Until, that is, they released an outstanding Gmail client for Android.
The main problem I've always had with Gmail is its aesthetics. The massive redesign of Google products that began when Sergey Brin took over Google certainly helped, but it still doesn't exactly put content first. Open an email, and you'll see all sorts of extranneous buttons, text, and other clutter.
For those who love an uncluttered experience, then, the official Gmail client is lacking. Ironically, it isn't Boomerang's ability to "boomerang" emails that enticed me into using it. It was the aesthetic.
After all, I do a significant amount of reading in my email. I'm picky about what I let in my inbox, but those gems that I do allow in should be given the proper respect. The Caesura Letters, for example, or Craig Mod's Explorer's Club, Jack Cheng's The Sunday Dispatch: these are writers whom I've invited into my inbox; the reading experience should be pleasant, and the content they've crafted should be given room to breathe.
For that reason, I was actually envious of Yahoo's recent mail redesign.
But enough about my aesthetic obsession- how good is Boomerang for Android? It's good, with only one exception.
First of all, this is a Gmail, not an email, client. It only works with Gmail. That makes setup a breeze; just give it access to your default Google account, and you're set. Boomerang will import your labels, and you're off.
Second, Boomerang is obviously as obsessed with pixels as I am. This is, far and away, the best-looking email experience I've encountered for Android. There are six themes to choose from, all gorgeous, and content is king here. The reading experience is minimal, useful, attractive.
Settings are a breeze, too. They're not too extensive to navigate, but what is there is quite useful. One aspect I was supremely impressed with was how easy it was to add an alternate "from" address. Since I send most of my mail from a simple email set up through Gmail itself, I simply added the email address, Boomerang picked it up in Gmail, added it, and that was that. No fuss, no headache. I didn't have to mess with any pop servers or even authorize it through the address's original provider.
Of course, everything you need in a Gmail client is here: push notifications, great search, and great gestures (swipe right to archive, left for other actions).
Everything that makes Boomerang Boomerang is here, too: snooze emails, schedule them for later, and even track responses. The one (and, as far as I can tell, only) thing that's missing is support for Gmail's new tabbed inbox. If that's a must-have for you, you may want to wait it out, as I suspect that support is on its way, but it's hard to say when.
Of course, all this is available on your desktop, too: Boomerang has extensions for most major browsers, which just add Boomerang functionality to Gmail on the web. Baydin, the company behind Boomerang, also offers paid accounts to add more functionality, along with Boomerang for Outlook and Boomerang Calendar.
Boomerang for Android is an exceptional client, and, if you're not hooked on the tabbed inbox for mobile, does pretty much everything Gmail does, but better.