/ Productivity

Newton - Finally the right email client

I’d confidently say that I’ve tried every iOS and MacOS email client, both paid and free, and for a long time thought that I’d found the right combination of tools. But I must be fickle as it didn’t take much for me to go looking for a new email client after using Spark for some time.

What tipped me over the edge and prompted me to move away from Spark was the search. It did an OK job, but nowhere near what I needed. Search may not be a priority for ever email user however I simply don’t organize, tag or move emails into folders... so finding an email by search is generally the most common method for me.

After leaving Spark I went back to the standard email clients for iOS and MacOS as I know that the search in those apps was at least reliable. However the challenge with the standard apps is the lack of features I was looking for. I needed something that could integrate to Evernote to store important messages, looked good, was fast to use and provided some indicator as to whether an email was opened or not... and none of those things exist in the standard email clients.

Newton

Newton, which I think used to be called CloudMagic was perhaps the last remaining email client that I hadn’t tried, the main reason being the price. It’s not cheap by today’s standards (which as a side note is really, really cheap) as the app has an annual subscription fee of USD$49.99. But I generally think any tool under $100/year is an ok investment on the provision I’m getting value from it.

Synchronization

Newton has an edition for the Mac plus version for the iPhone and iPad. Given that you sign up for a cloud based service to use newton it make sense that there’s synchronization between all the clients.

The sync is primarily managing configuration between each client. I understand that it’s not something that changes often however knowing that when you make a change to a signature that it happens in every client is a nice “set and forget” feature. Most recently I added leave alert to my email signature and of course the change just echoed across every client without issue.

Email signature synchronised

By far the most powerful function in Newton is the search capability. There is a quirk to completing a good search however I haven’t seen a search function so powerful and yet predictable and reliable in any other email application.

It supports standard word search, and “search for a string” of text. Additionally it allows for you to search by sender or recipient and also search for emails that have an attachment (which is becoming less useful as almost every email I get includes a banner advertisement). The quirk in the search however is that initially the search results include a broad search across all email accounts in your configuration, then is allows you to enhance the search by narrowing it down to a specific email account.

I’ve generally found that completing this last step takes me very close to the message I’m trying to find.

Search in Newton

Open indicators

The last useful component that I use regularly is the “read” indicator built into newton. You can configure what Newton calls Superchargers which includes an email Snooze function, Send profiles by social network integration, and this instance Read Receipts. You have the option of choosing to turn on the receipts for every email, in addition to being notified when your email is opened. You can also change the setting for each email you send rather than setting it globally for every email.

Settings in Newton for Read Reciepts

Summary

The app is easy to use, beautiful on every platform, highly functional but more importantly reliable and predictable in it’s behavior. I haven’t had a single crash since 2016 and see no reason to move off the app any time soon.