I have a doubt about the appropriateness of using the @ sign on an icon, to mean something related to email.
For instance, a project I am involved into uses it the following ways:
On a contact information screen, phones numbers and the email address of a person are shown. Each line begins with an icon to differentiate the home, work, cell phones. The email line begin with an @ icon with no other decoration.
An email reading app under development has the @ and an envelope on both on the icon and the splash screen, the @ being much bigger than the envelope.
Now, here are the reasons I am doubting of such choices (I did not participate to the design), especially as of 2012:
The @ icon for email reminds of the 2000s Internet era, with animated GIFS scattered on webpages, a famous one being the spinning 3-dimentional @ to say "contact me by email".
Twitter, which did not exist at that time, uses the @ extensively.
In French cities, in districts where a majority of migrants live, there are tiny shops called "taxiphones" that offer Internet acces and cheap calls to their home countries (Africa, Asia...). The standard sign for such a shop is compound of two alternating flashing neons: a blue telephone handset and a red @. Here, the @ conveys the idea of Internet, not restricted to email.
I think the @ can be used, but should not be the most emphasized part of the icon. What is your opinion on this? Which image is appropriate to convey the idea of email today?