Responsive Email Issues on Android KitKat 4.4.2 Update: Is this gonna last forever?


You may have noticed that Android recently updated their OS, and this time, it has made a significant impact on the email inbox. As soon as our Professional Services Team discovered the problem, we began furiously working on a solution.  Here’s the lowdown that was shared with our team internally, which includes some good news and some bad news:

The bad news first:

It seems that Android’s recent update may have replaced the native inbox core with the Gmail app core. As we know, the Gmail app is not responsive, so the Android native inbox is no longer responsive. Most likely, the media query and other css styles in the head that are used to style the mobile version of an email are being stripped out.

While we haven’t tested all phones with the new Android OS, and there isn’t much documentation about this issue yet, we think in general Android phones will just not be responsive…ever…like forever (or more likely, just for the next few months until they update again).

The good news:

The native inbox and Gmail app should be rendering emails correctly as a desktop view. And that’s as good as it gets. The native inbox will not automatically scale the email to fit the screen, however there is a setting for this – Settings > Display > Auto fit content. The Gmail app does this by default.

And by the way, iPhone still works fine :-)

We’ll be sharing more on responsive design in our April 16 webinar, Always On: Connecting with Mobile Shoppers. Registration is open.

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