Archive for October, 2012 :

Responsive email support

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 by Anna Yeaman

Responsive emails = fluid grids, fluid media and media queries. The idea being where @media isn’t supported, you can fallback on a fluid layout. As fluid layouts pose issues on some desktop email clients, alternatively you can fallback to a fixed-width mobile template. I tested media queries in our device lab, I’ll update the chart as I add new clients.


media query support
iPhone native Mail client Yes
iPhone Mailbox app Yes
iPhone Gmail app No
iPhone Sparrow app Yes
iPhone Outlook app Yes
iPhone Boxer app Yes
iPhone Yahoo! Mail app No
iPad native client Yes
iPod native client Yes
iPhone Inbox Google No
Android 2.1 Eclair native client No
Android 2.2 Froyo native client Yes
Android 2.3 Gingerbread native client Yes
Android 4.0 Ice Creme Sandwich native client Yes
Android 4.1, 4.2 + 4.3 Jelly bean native client Yes 
Android 4.4 KitKat Yes 
Inbox Google Android No
Android Outlook Exchange via native client No
Android app (including Hotmail) Yes
Android Gmail app No
Android Yahoo Mail app 1.4.6 & 2.0 No
Microsoft Surface tablet ( Yes
Windows Mobile 6.1 No
Windows Phone 7 No
Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) Yes
Windows Phone 8 No
BlackBerry OS 5 No
BlackBerry OS 7 Yes
BlackBerry Z10 Yes
Palm webOS 4.5 Yes
Original Kindle Fire + HD (New vr. of Silk) native client Yes Mail app Yes
Sony PlayStation Vita game console (Gmail) Yes



Platform versions

You need to know how many users are on each platform version to get the full picture. For instance ~96% of Android users are on version 2.2 and up. Which means they’ll get the mobile layout if using the native client. 28% of BlackBerry users are using OS 7 according to this chart.

I can’t find recent Windows Phone stats, though Microsoft has been aggressively pushing 7.5 upgrades. Since May 2012, they’ve been preventing version 7 users from downloading apps from the Marketplace. The post also states, “Most phones are already running Windows Phone 7.5″.

While there are grey areas - like how many Gmail app users we have - iOS, BB and Android all support responsive email design in their latest platform versions.


Update: we’ve had mixed reports on WP8 support, while we own a WP7 and WP7.5 we don’t have a WP8 phone so haven’t been able to confirm this ourselves.