The struggle for self-hosted mail continues

Another in the series of ramblings about self-hosted mail system. About client software.

I stumbled upon JMAP again - I’ve heard of it in the past, but forgot about it. It’s a replacement for IMAP for our new mobile-first world. I am looking to replace my current EAS. It works fine, but every now and then the weirdest problems pop up out of nowhere. Like e-mails not being visible in the clients, being malformed or having attachments missing or even broken. Most got fixed and I reported bugs but it still feels like beta software. I am using the combination of mailcow (sogo part for EAS) and Gmail on Android. I tried Z-push and even alternative client apps but they gave more problems than they solved compared to sogo/gmail.

I am not using IMAP primarily because of it being blocked in certain networks. Don’t ask me why anyone would block IMAP, I don’t know. But if it happened to me 3 times that it was blocked it can happen again anywhere. I need those push notifications too, so I cannot just start up a VPN and go look at the e-mail if I am in such situation - this is a workaround, not a solution at all. I need HTTP access to e-mail that is mobile-friendly. So no webmail clients.

This is where JMAP comes in. Or it at least tries. There aren’t many options to just go and try JMAP. The provider fastmail stopped supporting app passwords so I cannot test it with client on Android. So I had to set up a server quickly.

I tried 2 clients, Team Mail and They both look average, but good enough for checking the new technology out.

Team Mail looks like an iOS app on Android. No dark mode is a dealbreaker. looks like Gmail app a few years ago, which isn’t too bad. It’s also super-fast and responsive. Here it is:

I am not switching to this yet but it looks like a great contender for the next e-mail service if I am ever forced to migrate out of frustration with the bugs in EAS. For now I would expect (based on my gut feeling) there to be more bugs in JMAP servers/clients than in the other proven solutions. But somebody will have to test :)

This article is part of the series personal mail server