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Dazzling email client Maestro enters into public preview for Windows Phone 8.1 users

The built-in email client on Windows Phone gets the job for casual users, but for those looking for a brighter, more powerful experience, there have been few options. Maestro is a new email app for Windows Phone 8.1 and Hidden Pineapple makes it, the developers behind the favorite Rowi Twitter client years ago.

Today, after some delay, it is finally entering into a public preview. Users can now download and use the client, which supports Outlook and Gmail out the gate, including multiple accounts.

Dubbed as "A better mail experience for Windows Phone 8.1", Maestro looks to deliver aesthetically pleasing emails, but also more advanced inbox controls for the email addicts out there. Today's release is a 'preview' meaning the app itself is still far from complete, but the core of it is working enough to warrant letting you folks jump in an take it for a ride.

Unfortunately, Windows Phone 8.1.1 (Preview for Developers) has a few bugs in it that Microsoft needs to fix. As a result, some of the cooler features such as 'swipe to delete' or 'tap and hold to enter swift edit mode' are not enabled in Maestro initially. Once Microsoft patches the OS, those features should return (a similar, but unrelated bug affects Tweetium when loading, although this was patched with this week's OS update).

What else is enabled in Maestro? Here are some of the highlighted features.

  • Live Tile
  • Push Notifications
  • HTML support
  • Frequency setting for email checks

After running Maestro for a few days, we can say the app is definitely a little rough as expected from a preview release. Tapping a notification opens up the entire client and the not the email message itself. There are also occasional syncing issues and the features are very limited in this early look. Still, going by the design, layout and new programming language, Maestro certainly has potential.

Overall, it is great to see Maestro finally getting its public debut. I hope that you can all put it through the wringer and over the following months, this app will grow to be a juggernaut. Grab the app below, and sound off in comments (do not be surprised if the devs jump in and answer your questions).

Follow the Maestro team on Twitter too for updates or questions! You can find them @getmaestro or their website

QR: Maestro

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

  • When will be the full one arrives???
  • Probably when this is not in preview and testing completes.
  • Mr Snarky is awake
  • When you say about the features not working on 8.1.1 preview for developers does that include the official 8.1.1 on my 930 ??
  • Yes
  • I would say not since he specifically said the Preview for Developers. If he would have said Windows 8.1.1 I would have been a bit more questioning. Just my $0.02!
  • Based on the this preview, this app is definitely not dazzling. Hopefully it gets better, but I'm really surprised this is receiving such attention on Wpcentral. There are a plethora of other email clients, not to mention the default one, that offer more functionality and are much prettier.
  • The most nice feature it's the capable of attach files on a existing e-mail at least for enterprise users.
  • Wait, what?  I can attach a file to an email?!?  This alone is worth a huge price.  I am trembling with anticipation, but dare I ask?!?  Can I Edit the text of a forward or reply (especially to delete part of it) before sending? Replay or forward a message from a different account then it was recieved in?  If I can do these three things, and the app works well in other respects, I will pay up to $40 for the full client.  I did that for RoadSync on my Nokia E71 and it was worth every penny.
  • Yup, any file can be attached and yes to both of your questions (though we don't support aliases yet so only the accounts you have setup). Good to know. :)
  • Well, that's very, very good news.  Unfortunately, I can't use it!  I have three main email addresses, two Exchange accounts and a Yahoo! mail account, none of which are supported. I guess I'll just have to hope these incredibly popular hosts are supported eventually.
  • Be sure to tell us that over here:
  • At least here I can attach any files I want.
  • I just installed Metro mail It is great indeed it can attach any file while replying, but the free version is limited to only one email account
  • Agreed, I was expecting so much more based on the hype. It's just not ready for preview yet. If development has been held up then it's better to delay it than release it like this.
  • Personal opinion. ;)
  • Sure, I just get annoyed that so many developers are happy to release Alphas now rather than get to a stable state first. Though now I've seen your EDM I realise you at least started it was still Alpha. Many devs will call this state Beta nowadays.
  • No. When the ago doesn't work at all, you don't release it. Release an alpha once the basic framework is complete and working.
  • Funny you say that because Maestro has completely stopped working for me now. I'll report it on UserVoice.
  • Does anyone know if they plan on supporting Exchange/Pop/Imap?
  • Much like Email hub app.....
  • No.
  • +3310
  • OWww upgrade your phone already!
  • +5110
  • please don't N-Gage others.
  • +N73
  • +P30
  • Just installed here. It's beautiful ... Modern design :)
  • I still like the Mail app that comes with WP better.
  • I really haven't noticed anything different between Windows Phone and iPhone, but the last I've seen anything on iPhone was a few years ago. It's an email app. Should it be so bedazzling as say a game or a service app (banking app for example). I still like the original, too.
  • Count me in I'm a heavy email user and although its lacking a tiny bit I don't think I'll be switching over to some other client...
  • Yeah I'm a little puzzled at the "fine for casual users" part myself. Yes there are a couple of missing features I'd like to have (more flexibility in attachments chief among them) but overall I am a VERY heavy email user and the great native WP client has kept me from seriously considering other platforms so far. It's just so fast and stable, even when dealing with several hundred emails per day.
  • What language was the app written in?
  • Probably C#
  • french
  • Lol good one
  • This too. I'd imagine C#, but it says "new language" no idea what that's about o:
  • The errors I get lead me to believe html javascript
  • It's C#/XAML
  • Technically speaking i would say the app might be written in asp.NET using C# as it uses webapp architecture
  • asp.NET isn't even a choice for WP apps. It's either XAML/C# or HTML/WinJS for managed code. There's also DirectX/C++ or DirectX+Xaml/C++ combo for native code.
  • I would stop speaking technically and better google this again :P
  • I'm not sure what they meant by "new language" but we wrote it in C# and XAML.
  • Guess they meant WinRT instead of Silverlight, Joshua!
  • Yes, it's C#/XAML.
  • Can't beat the native one though...
  • Can't connect with my account..
  • Where should we report bugs? It has so many in my L928 that is pretty much useless to me, but I want to contribute.
  • You can send us feedback via email or UserVoice. Look in the about screen.
  • You may want to consider removing the 10 votes per user limit for now while there is a lot to report.
  • Nah, it's a nice forcing function. If you only want to vote on bugs, cool, if the features are more important to you, cool, some of both, that's fine. Everything? Well, we can't work on everything at once, so better to tell us what's most important.
  • Isn't it better to know how widespread an issue is rather than how much people want it fixed based on an arbitrary limit? This is one reason User Voice is a bit difficult for bug reporting vs feature request, though I understand the decision to use it because of the simple UI.
  • Actually there is a much bigger problem with limited votes than you may realise. You need at least one vote to post an 'idea', and since you're using this for bugs (and there are many to report) you're actually limiting your testers' ability to give you valuable information.
  • Agreed.
  • ^this
  • Uservoice isn't for bugs. It's for feature requests.
  • Download not happening. Anybody else facing the same issue?
  • Finally here. Downloading and testing now..
  • Really clean app. A dark theme would be welcomed.
    Will there be a full test when the final version of the app is released?
  • Glad you like. If you want a dark theme, be sure to tell us here.
  • Will do.
  • Gives me the following error when trying to connect to the Outlook "Object reference not set to an instance of an object". Gonna try Gmail now.
  • Gmail works fine. But Outlook ... =/
  • that error sound a lot like c#...
  • I get this also, after hanging on "getting account information" having apparently successfully authenticated an outlook and then a gmail account. 
  • I like options so will give this a try. The default mail app is good but still would like to see improvements such as swipe to delete and a select all option.
  • We had swipe to delete, but unfortunately there's a critical bug in WP (any update past 8.1 has it at the moment) that prevents us from doing so. Microsoft is aware and will fix the bug in future updates, but it's not out yet. When it's fixed, we'll have that feature in there.
  • Nice to hear, looking forward to fix.
  • Works pretty nice for a preview application though there are some minor bugs that are to be fixed looking forward to the finished version.
  • Gorgeous app. However, won't let me actually read my emails. Unless I'm missing something
  • the same for me, it wont let me do anything. Far from 'dazzling' if i'm honest.
  • Be sure to send us feedback (look in the about screen).
  • Ugh! Buggy, slow and not ready after all these months.... If you want to be an alpha tester than be my guest but really, who needs this?  Slide to delete - not working.  Exceedingly disappointed. Deleted it.
  • True Slide to delete - not working on my L720 too... and its too slow.
  • Did you guys read the article ? 
  • Ok correcting my statement.... as mentioned in the article slide to delete isn't working!! Lol
  • :)
  • See my reply to the above comment.
  • Thanks!
  • There is no slide to delete functionality yet because of a known bug in Windows Phone. Microsoft will ship an update in the future to fix it. As for the rest, yah, expected. That's why we called it a preview.
  • Yeah,  I could code out some garbage and throw it out there and call it an 'alpha' app... doesn't make it anything but a piece of junkware... That's what Maestro is... junk. For WPC to call it "dazzling" is a perversion of objective journalism. That's why these fan-sites are ultimately worthless, they never met a news release they didn't like. 
  • Connected to my outlook account with no problems. Not much else works tho... and the app doesn't close when you press the back button.
  • I was going to say the same things. It's pretty much useless now. Maybe the final will be better.
  • It wont close. It uses the new multi tasking features of WP8.1 which is similar to the way in which Windows 8.1 works - apps are suspended when you close them instead of fully shutting down.
  • You can still fully shut down apps in 8.1
  • It is pretty buggy, I often can't open emails at all. At this point it looks nice but not very useful on my 1020 until the OS bug is dealt with. Will re-evaulate then. 
  • If it stops doing anything when you tap on mails, etc, kill it and it will work again. We're investigating that bug.
  • Ohhh god ... Finally!!!!
    +730 after 1oct but now +520
  • Successfully connected the Gmail account but cant connect with the Outlook account.
  • Which account did you connect to first? I only have an outlook account and that works fine...
  • When I am connected to my outlook account, it first completed the authentication but when it showed: GATHERING ACCOUNT DATA, it stopped there and showed a message: OBJECT REFERENCE NOT SET TO AN INSTANCE OF AN OBJECT.
  • We're looking into this one.
  • Thanks!
  • I don't like it. Maybe once it gets more work done, but it's far to clunky compared to the native app. I downloaded it, added my (which was amazingly easy) and played around a bit. Not impressed yet. Will check it out in the future after improvements.
  • Design looks nice, everything plays well for an Alpha. Only issue I have is that it crashes to startscreen randomly when I open emails. Can be a fantastic app, if not the best, once the fix by MS is implemented and when any remaining bugs are fixed by the dev.   For those of you complaining about it not being ready... Well... Yeah... It's an alpha... It's meant to be us helping the dev through the development of the app... Just think about that for a second before you complain about being "exceedingly disappointed." 
  • In all fairness, this would be agony to even test. I'm not passing judgment on the app, just not willing to participate in the alpha.
  • Time to grin and bare it until an update for it, haha :P
  • No. Please keep your clothes on. For the sake of all of us here!!
  • During syncing...apps becomes unresponsive
  • Yowza, that's buggy. The settings page doesn't allow scrolling, but should. More importantly, I can't scroll through my emails. Anytime I touch the screen, there is flickering as the screen shift back and forth between my inboxes. This definitely needs a unified inbox option
  • For me this look looks like a standard mail with skin. I still like the default app but looking forward on this app as well.
  • We're just working on getting the core functionality working well at this point. All the "fancy" isn't even in there yet. :)
  • I can't find app.Anyone here with same issue??Appstore(us)
  • I tipped about it ... Y Daniel didn't mentioned me
  • Because
  • Its not all about you...and 20 other people prob tipped it too. What do you expect, a thankyou speech?
  • Yea#iyae
  • Really nice and clean App. Gonna give it a try.
  • windows the bear third party dev support.
  • Why i cant swipe on mails right or left just like in the video shown befoee (trialer)
  • Duh! Read the whole storeys dude...
  • Yah, we don't have that functionality in there right now because of an OS bug (as mentioned in the article above).
  • unresponsive many times 
  • We're looking into that bug. If it becomes unresponsive (it's actually still working/running, but navigation stops working so it doesn't go anywhere), kill it via multi-tasking and it will work again.
  • Well I tried it, and after a few attempts, was able to get an Outlook account added. After of which, I couldn't access the settings to add another account. Found the app to be very inconsistent when adding an account and all options are broken. Using Lumia 822 with latest WP 8.1 Update 1 DP. WIll wait for an update, but looking forward to using this for my gmail account in the future. When it works of course.
  • Adding a new account is under "accounts", not settings. We're aware that settings is broken.
  • Thanks for the quick response! I reinstalled it and then added my gmail account. That worked well enough. For some strange reason, settings and the other options worked. After closing the app and then reopening, the settings didn't work anymore. They also didn't work on my first test adding an outlook account. None of the emails listed open up either (using GMail account). Hopefully this helps a bit for debugging. Also, the live tile doesn't seem to be working or showing anything. Other than that, it's a great UI and will likely be my primary GMail app in the future.
  • Glad you like it despite the issues. We have a fix for the live tile issue and it will go out in the next update. Settings will be fixed in the next one too. As for not being able to open anything, we're still trying to figure out the problem is with that, but if it happens, just kill Maestro via multi-tasking and it should then work again.
  • Using your advice, after closing and re-opening Maestro, I was able to open emails within my GMail account. It is wierd that I couldn't open emails. Seems like it only happened when I first used it, but now is it's stable with openening emails. Notifications in WP8.1 are coming up for GMail emails as well. The UI and aethestic is fantastic. Can't wait to see how this pans out. Also good on you and your team for being so vocal with your users.
  • Default email client is much responsive, this is bit slow.
  • remember this is an alpha version
  • Ok so why need this ? i mean default email client is working fine and there is no lag.
  • It won't be for everyone, but reasons people might switch are a cleaner design, more functionality (like attaching any types of files, modifying replies/forwards, etc) and much better productivity. But again, not for everyone.
  • Both my accounts seem to work, that is great! I did notice that I cannot tap the first-top mail. After re-opening it, none of the mails are openable. But hey, it's a preview and the way it looks, this thing is going to be AWESOME! Keeping it installed and checking the updates when they come. Best of luck with this app.
  • Thanks! We appreciate the feedback. If the app appears to become unresponsive, kill it via multi-tasking and it should work again. This is a known bug we're working on.
  • Sounds like I'll wait on this one
  • as an alpha the UI is very cool and user friendly, can change the color etc... but its still a little slow to sync but this is only alpha so i hope it gets faster and 1 more bad thing more is the email it shows is for mobile sizes... those emails that has been sent for to look on desktop looks rly weird
  • Be sure to give us feedback! :)
  • This will need more work to compete with MetroMail or 1Mail
  • Working with for me.  But synching is super slow. And there appears to be no functionality to archive or even move messages right now. Uninstalling. The native WP mail app is great. I just wished it had an "Archive" button like the web client does. Would be faster than having to select ...->move->Archived.
  • We had archive (swipe to delete/archive) but had to pull it because of an OS bug in WP. The feature will come back when it's fixed (Microsoft is aware). Could you email us a screenshot or something of how you use archive in Last time I looked it didn't have archive. maestro at hidden pineapple dot com
  • Yep, will e-mail you a screenshot of the Archive button in right now.
  • Thank you!
  • Good Design. Thanks for delivering. Few things after first try: 1. Please also add Yahoo. 2. When replying/Forwarding Please indicate the writing/cursor position. That way we can clearly see where to write. 3. Setting page not working properly ("Setting" Text is vertically half hidden)     a. Please add more refreseh interval : 10min/ 15 min based on account.      b. Setting page scroll not working.
  • Please send feedback here. :)
  • Done, Thanks!
  • Very buggy. Uninstalled. Not usable on 920 on dev preview + amber
  • UI is great.. But there are lots of bugs.. I would still prefer the stock WP mail..
  • It's not that dazzling, the dev team found a massive OS bug (mentioned in the launch email) which means half the promised features haven't been rolled out. Personally, I'd have waited for the fix.
    Microsoft, it's up to you to squash the bug.