Android App: Email Widget

Use this Android Application to put a widget with your recent emails of a certain email folder on your homescreen. You can use it with every synced email folder for an Exchange, POP3, IMAP or GMail Account.  You can find many custom skins on my Skin Site. The following environments are supported by this app/widget:

Enhanced Email
Android 2.1 / 2.2 / 2.3
K9 Mail App GMail App until V2.3.4.1
GMail App  >=V2.3.5

Desire HD / Desire Z / Droid Incredible 2 / EVU 3D  ONLY WITH ROOT


For “only with root” please see the description (Installing as system app) below!

By touching the widget you can open emails (GMail only with internal viewer) or the email app. Additionally it displays a small icon to indicate wether a mail is read / unread (K9 does not support this feature). You can use it as 3x(1-4) or 4x(1-4) widget. Different widget configurations are supporte.

Update Version 5.4:

  • Added support for Enhanced Email
  • Messages can now be opened from widget for K9 provider (PLEASE UPDATE TO LATEST K9 mail!)
  • Added internal viewer for GMail provider
  • Resizing of widget now supported (depends on launcher)
  • For GMail provider the widget now displays messages instead of conversations
  • Fixed: GMail provider now displays messages from inbox only if “only unread” is selected

Follow me on Twitter @invalidobject_ to get infos on recent develeopment.

ATTENTION: The App doesn’t work on Android 2.2 / Froyo (except for HTC) for the build in mail app out of the box, because of the strict permission system (technical details here). You can bypass this by installing the app as a system app. For this root access is required, explanation below. You can also use K9 or Enhanced Email.

GMail support only works out of the box until GMail V2.3.4.1. On the current version c.2.3.5 Google locked down GMail. Please see this post.

Please feel free to contact me for any feature-requests, bugs, ideas, questions or other feedback through the comments below. If you have any problems, send me a mail with the detailed logfile (option in the app menu, file is located under /sdcard/emailwidget_log.txt) for support.


Which Feature for the next version? (select 2)

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If it's working, which device manufacturer do you use?

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Installing app as a system app

PLEASE NOTE: The following is at your own risk. I will not be responsible for any damage or malfunction of your device! Please also mind, that rooting might void your warranty.

You only need to do this, if my app tells you that android has blocked access to your mails (see screenshot below). If this does not appear but you cannot choose a mail folder, then your phone stores mails in a non standard and non compatible mode.


Option 1 (via File Manager):


  1. Install the app emailWidget from the market
  2. Be sure not to put a widget of the app on a homescreen
  3. Start Super Manager
  4. Go to Settings and activate root support (Enable ROOT functions)
  5. Go back and open the File Explorer
  6. Move to directory /data/app
  7. Find my app Email Widget (look out for the app icon) and select it
  8. Use the “cut”-symbol from the commands below (the scissors)
  9. Now hit Menu->Switch System R/W->R/W (this makes System folder writeable)
  10. Go to /system/app and paste my app in it (the command icon which looks like a sketch sheet)
  11. Now reboot

Option 2 (via shell):


  1. Install the app emailWidget from the market
  2. Be sure not to put a widget of the app on a homescreen
  3. Start Better Terminal Emulator
  4. Type in the following commands (without the content in brackets)
  5. su (get root)
  6. mount -oremount,rw -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock4 /system (remount the system-filesystem read/write)
  7. cd /data/app (go to the directory /data/app)
  8. busybox mv de.foobarsoft.emailwidget.apk /sdcard (move app to your sdcard, app gets uninstalled)
  9. cd /sdcard (go to the directory /sdcard)
  10. busybox mv de.foobarsoft.emailwidget.apk /system/app (move app to system-folder, app gets installed as system app)
  11. Maybe you have to restart your phone.

Now you should see the app in you app-folder again. Select a mail folder now and add the widget to your homescreen. It should work now. For Froyo Users: Please see the comment below.

Note: Some devices require to enable modifying the system-directory by putting the device to a mode called S-OFF. This is the case if you start your device after the steps above and the directory /system/app does not contain the emailwidget-apk. You can find information on putting your device to S-OFF here.

– Fixed: Sometimes Widget caused the system to lag and the Launcher to be unresponsive or crash
– Refactored autoupdate to be less ressource intensive
– Optimized performence for querying provider
– Updated Korean language translation

224 thoughts on “Android App: Email Widget

  1. Frank, I’ve been using the widget for a few weeks now and the major bug I am having is the non-reload upon re-boot that Marco mentioned in the Post on March 17th above. Reboot=delete widget, re-add and reconfigure customizations.

    This and the open single email mentioned by previous users and my request for a “preview” in the widget. Thanks in advance Frank!

  2. Ian,

    thanks again for your comment. I had some conversation with the other user, Marco, via mail and he said that the reload issue wasn’t reproducable. We also found out that the launcher he was using (Go Launcher) had a bug in the version he was using, so you might try out another custom launcher. Also please try to set a limit of mails shown in the widget to i.e. 15 or 20. On large mailboxes there might be some performance issues with my widget, because all mails are queried from the mail database. Maybe this prevents the widget from reloading.

    If this doesn’t help, please get back to me via email and we can do a some more investigation of your problem.


  3. Is ther any way to skin the 1×1 Widget to look more like an app shortcut – just an icon, with a counter in the corner?

  4. Hi John,
    thanks for your comment. Unfortunately the feature your are looking for is not currently implemented in my app, but it is on the list of planned features (“Support for icons with unread count as bubble like SMS Unread Count”).


  5. Frank,

    Thanks. Are you aware that on QVGA screen (e.g HTC Wildfire) the 1×1 Widget is actually about 50% too tall, so it gets truncated half way down the counter.

  6. Just wanted to let you know that the widget works on Honeycomb tablets (Acer A500), but only when rooted as with most modern android phones. The installation procedure on this page works exactly like on my 2.2 HTC phone.

    But there is one small thing that doesn’t work: tapping the widget to open the inbox or message does nothing. Maybe the activity has a different name in 3.0 or something. Could you look into supporting that?

    Other than that, the widget works very well on my shiny new tablet :-). The default email widget that comes with the tablet does not support showing two widgets with different inboxes, but your widget has no problems with that.

  7. Rmc,
    thanks for your report. The problem with the emails not opening is due to android locking out third party apps to the email intends. I don’t know why google decided to do so but it makes no sense to me, because there should be no security impact or so. I’m already aware of this situation and will add a workaround in the next release where you can choose to show emails in a custom viewer provided by my app. I will shoot out a twitter message as soon as the new release gets out so you can follow me on @invalidobject_


  8. I am using the app with my gmail account on my HTC Thunderbolt, running Android 2.2.1 (latest official update from Verizon, last 5/13). It was was working great until last night (before and after update–though I just got the phone and installed a week ago), but now, most of the time when I click the widget, nothing happens. I removed and replaced the widget, but it is not working better. Before, it would open up the gmail client every time I clicked, as expected. Any idea what might be wrong? Thanks so much.

  9. Purchased but rather dissapointed. Need buttons for delete, mark as read, or just anything when you open up the “internal viewer” since opening up the email doesn’t work anymore(why not just remove this option until its functional?) Also, why no html support in the internal viewer? Is this going to be in future releases? I like the fact that its specific to email, since it is called email widget, so I think you should stick with email only so we can make the most of this app for what it is supposed to be used for (noting the vote about facebook support). Have you also looked into a possibly quick reply box?

  10. Tony,
    thanks for your comment. Please let there be room for improvement 😉 I am already aware that the current internal viewer is only a starting point and i will definitely work on the features you described. The “email open action” does work on some devices, but not on all so i don’t want to remove this feature. Regarding HTML support: This seems to be a bug for the android email client. I will provide a bugfix for this soon.
    I would love to get more info about the quick reply box from you.


    I don’t know if you have ever heard of an app called SMS Popup, but it simply takes the incoming sms and delivers it in a fancy pop up window so you don’t have to open your messaging app. In this little window there gives an option for close(which marks the message as read), delete, and reply. After going through the settings you’ll find an option for quick reply, which uses an “internal viewer” of sorts and simply opens a text box so you may quick reply directly to the person without needing to go to the thread or messaging app. Also, have you looked into “Pure Messenger Widget”? It is basically your app just bloated with options and a little resource hungry, which is why I looked into your very simplistic app(please keep it this way lol). Pure has a LOT of good options but they are more focused on general social gathering of information rather than just email. Maybe you could get a few ideas from there as well.

  12. Kenny,
    this might be because of a bug in the handling of gmail accounts. On some devices there were some permanent refreshs of the widget so the touch events might be absorbed. Just fixed this bug. Please update and tell me if it fixes your problem, too.


  13. Tony,
    thanks for your suggestion for improvement. I didn’t know SMS Popup so far but there are some nice features which i also could adapt to my app. Actually i want to improve the internal viewer to get some more features like marking mails unread/read, replying or deleting mails. Unfortunately this is very specific to devices or email apps so this is no easy task to achieve. Pure Messenger was in some aspects a reference for my app but i want to keep focused on mails and supporting mail apps. If there is anything that pure has which you would like my app to support as well, just let me know.


  14. Hey Frank. Have an issue. Widget working perfectly for the past 3 months, but after I updated to v5.3 three days ago, the widget been using 20-25% CPU permanently, draining my battery in 3-4 hours compared to full day before. Had to downgrade and lost my settings. I’m on SGS with Froyo.

  15. Simon,

    i pushed out a release yesterday which fixes your issue. Please update via market and everything should be fine 😉


  16. Thanks Frank. Will thry new one.
    I forgot before my last post I had a resent titanium backup from 5.2 with settings and all, so I can revert to that.
    Still love your widget, probably the single most used app/widget on my phone.

  17. Hi Frank,

    Thanks so much for addressing my problem so quickly! I installed the update last night and, so far, it is working. If any issues come up again, I will let you know.

  18. Frank,
    From what you said earlier is on point about the read/unread, delete, etc. buttons that should be implemented into this app…the only other options that I think you should look into are: 1) Pure’s message preview instead of just the header text in the widget. 2) The ability for prev/next options in the internal viewer. 3) When hitting refresh it should have the ability to set wether to refresh just the widget or to resync with your mailbox (similar to Pure’s refresh button).

    If I can think of anything else I’ll let ya know, keep up the good work on this increasingly great app!!

  19. Tony,
    thanks for the great proposuals. The first one was already on my feature list and it is the top rated feature so far, so this will be implemented for the next major release. I added your other feature requests to my feature list above.


  20. Hello.
    Will it be supported enhanced e-mail ?
    it is very good app , but they have no good widget .
    it’ll be nice to support this .

  21. Mike,

    thanks for your comment. I would really like to support enhanced email but this client doesn’t expose its content to third party apps. So currently there is nothing i can do to support it.


  22. Just switched to ADW Launcher & I notice that on GMail accounts with “unread only” no mails are shown if “Scrolling Widget” is chosen – only the unread count appears; turn off scrolling & the unread headers are shown.

  23. Hi

    I have just purchased a samsung galaxy and (to the best of my ability) have read through and implemented the above.

    1/ when I go into super manager and settings and tick on enable root function it comes up with
    The ROOT function in this program isnot support you devise or system image. and i can only click on ok

    2/ When i downloaded oneclicklagfix it says that all the things are unavailable

    Can anyone let me know what i am doing wrong


  24. Hi,
    I really like your widget, but before going for the new feature you mentioned, I would really love to see two basic features -or am I to dumb to find them.
    1. button to create a new mail
    2. click on header opens inbox, click on mail opens mail

  25. I like the look of your widget. I have a ASUS Transformer tablet and assume I need root for your app. Not looking for a refund, think you guys work hard enough for little to no money, but any help is appreciated.

  26. Hi,

    Great stuff, I’m using it on my both A.droid phones but this widget has some small issues with these new ROMs and new stock mail apps. See on the new updates….
    – DO we have any way to disable the tap action on header?
    on 1×1 widget, when the header tapped it open the widget settings instead of the email box. Tap on unread number it is ok.
    Disable the full widget interaction is no way.
    – It should be fine to edit the text in Header (yes, I’ve seen the vote). I have 3 email boxes and all of them has Inbox, so on the screen there are 3 widgets with the same text. It’s a little bit confusing. 🙂

    Thanks your time and work!

  27. Thanks for your message.
    I’m afraid that you cannot disable the action for the header until now. I will add this to the feature list. Actually if you would be able to disable it one cannot get the the preferences of the widget any longer.
    I’m also aware of the other feature you requested and that it’s a bit confusing to have more than one widget with the same header. I can only say that i will work on it 😉


  28. The INBOXes being named the same ‘INBOX’ is easy to solve. Just download the skins and change the ‘background.png’ to include the logo, e.g. GMail logo, yahoo logo etc… Then when you select the skin you simply pick the one with the logo you want. A little patience is required to get the background.png just right and remember to have a transparent background if you want a more professional look.

  29. Great app. Searched everywhere for a good email widget when I dropped the sense rom. This is by far the best.

    Andy above has a good solution for the header bar….. perhaps they could be pre-added and people could select from “hotmail” skins etc….same skins in each category but with the main mail clients.

    The biggest improvement I could suggest would be sender and subject in bold on one line with a line of preview text below.

    Apart from that…. Awesome work. (GSM Hero… installed into system file)

  30. Nice idea, but I couldn’t get it working… more specific, it simply doesn’t update automatically. I always need to refresh…or is there any (hidden) switch?

  31. Email Widget don´t work in HTC Desire S & K9, in Desire ok, fantastic, but in the new “S” no 🙁 do you wil update for this mobile? Thx

  32. Hi Carlos,

    Thanks for your message. My app should also work on the desire s. I suppose you have installed my app AFTER K9. Unfortunately this doesn’t work, because of the android permission system. Try to uninstall and reinstall my app.
    If this doesn’t solve your problem, please get back to me.


  33. Th23,

    Please find the auto update setting in the global app settings, It’s not in the widget settings.
    Hope this helps.


  34. Hi Frank, I have an issue.
    I updated my Gmail app to the latest recently (I believe I had not updated it since I bought this phone end of last year mostly because the app is not available in the market in China). Since then the widget stays empty. I tried recreating one with no success. My other widget for exchange email works fine. Any solutions?

    Galaxy S

  35. Thanks for the quick answer. That sucks, I’ll have to uninstall and reinstall your widgets, which means I will lose my skin right and settings right? Just a pain to reset everything. Why would Gmail do that…

  36. Simon,
    you don’t have to uninstall my app you just have to replace the GMail app on your phone with the one provided by the link.
    They have limited access because of security issues.


  37. Hi Dan,
    please make sure that you install my app AFTER installing k9. To fix this please uninstall my app and then reinstall it.


  38. nice widget mate!

    only need combined inbox so i can have 1 big widget with all my accounts color coded and it’s TOP NOTCH 🙂

    Keep up the good work! Worth its money!

    Happy Desire Z user running Cyanogenmod 7

  39. Why doesnt the app have combined inbox , i have three gmail acccount which i check regularly,

    do u want me to have each widget for one

    please help, is this feature still unavailable

  40. Hans,
    thanks for your feedback. The combined inbox is one of the top rated features. I will do my best and work on it on one of the upcoming releases.


  41. pradeep,
    thanks for your message. I’m very sorry but currently you have to use three widgets, one for each account. The combined inbox is a high demanded feature, but it is also a very complicated feature as well. As stated above i am working on it…


  42. Installed and working in my Tattoo, as system app (CM7 custom rom), but no scrolling on widget, and no skinning option on menu.

  43. KingCreole,
    Scrolling is only working on custom launchers like LauncherPro, ADWLauncher, Go…
    Skinning should be an option in the widget settings. But please mind that you have to install the skins by copying them on your sdcard. You can find my skin page here.

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