Newton Mail Review: Beautiful. Simple. Supercharged.
Email is a big part of our lives. For me, it’s three accounts and a wide variety of emails coming in at all hours of the day. Previously, I managed my email with Apple Mail on my Mac and Google Inbox on my phone. That was messed up. Some actions didn’t play nicely together, and when I went away, I didn’t have all my email accounts on me. That all changed when I came across Newton.
Newton is an email client for Mac, iOS, Android, and soon, Windows. It was previously known as CloudMagic and gained plenty of traction then. But with the rebrand to Newton, most of its features got a facelift and Newton’s features have been continually expanding since then.
So in this review, we’re going to take a look at what makes Newton so special and what makes it a great app to switch to.
One of the best features about Newton is its clean, simple user interface. No matter how many emails you have in your inbox, it feels clean. At the top, you’ll find the menu button, search bar, buttons for showing starred or unread emails, an overflow menu with options to select all or mark all as read, and a compose button. There’s also your Newton profile picture in the far right, with Newton-related options inside.
As far as the design goes for the list of emails in your inbox, I find them to be a nice blend of old and new. You have the sender, subject, a brief snippet of the message, and date. When you hover over the message, quick actions appear. One of my favorite parts about Newton is that you can customize these quick actions in the order they appear, or even if they appear at all. I mostly use the archive and delete actions, but there’s also ones for marking as unread/read, snoozing, and moving to another folder.
The last key bit of the inbox interface is the menu. It’s pretty self explanatory. Clicking on the lines in the upper left corner reveals your different accounts and all the folders within the current account.
When you click on an email, it fills the whole window and presents the content of the message beautifully. You’ll find the subject at the top, followed by all the people involved in the email. On the right is the ever-present star icon so you can mark the email for later. Below that is who the email is from, and the date it was received. Then there’s the entirety of the message, and at the bottom reply, reply all, and forward buttons.
What I really enjoy about this setup is that the reply buttons aren’t masked behind another button, as was common in Inbox. However, if it’s a long email and you don’t feel like scrolling all the way to the bottom to hit the reply button, there’s another option. Just hit the overflow button to the left of the sender’s picture. Inside that are the reply options, superchargers (more on that later), show details, and print.
The toolbar above the message is where most of the inbox-cleaning action happens. Again, these buttons can be reorganized. The six actions are archive, delete, snooze, mark as spam, move to folder, and mark as unread/read.
Overall, the interface is beautiful. I love how simple it is, and how little things like button order can be customized. But the interface is only a part of it — some of the software behind it is an even bigger deal.
One of the biggest parts of any email program is how the email composition experience is. The good news is that it is excellent in Newton. In the upper left corner, you can choose what account or alias you want the email to come from. In the upper right, there is an attachment button, follow up button with options to notify when read, remind if not replied, and send later. To the right of that button is the send button. Below all that is the simple, beautiful compose window. You just have your to line, subject, and message. If you set signatures, then it will appear in your message — you can delete it if you want. I love that it shows up in the message; in Inbox it would tag it on after you hit send, with no option to not include it.
Now, you might be asking, what about formatting options? Yes, they’re there. Just select text first, and bold, italic, text color, link, numerical list, bulleted list, quote, and clear formatting buttons appear. Some people may find this annoying, but I find that it adds to the cleanliness of Newton as a program. I also rarely use them — mostly just for links. But having the option there is excellent.
Superchargers are almost the keystone to making Newton really special. You’ll find these on a dedicated tab of the preferences. There’s quite a few: snooze, connected apps, sender profile, read receipts, send later, remind if not replied, and undo send.
Snooze is pretty self explanatory. You can “snooze” emails to deal with them later. In the preferences, you can choose several preset dates and times for easy snoozing later.
Connected apps is where stuff gets fun. You can connect apps like Todoist and Pocket to Newton. Then, when you’re reading an email, you can hit the overflow button and select one of the superchargers to send the email to. Connecting the app couldn’t be easier than signing into the window that pops up when you use the supercharger for the first time. I have Newton connected to my Todoist account, so it’s easy to add an email that will take some time to address to my Todoist. It’s fantastic, and with the variety of apps that you can add, you’re sure to boost your productivity.
Complete list of possible connected apps:
- Instapaper (new)
- Wunderlist (new)
Sender profile is pretty cool. Not only does it pull profile pictures and other contact details from your contacts, it also checks for Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and AngelList profiles and puts links to their social profiles there. I’ve also seen it pull profile pictures from social networks. It even puts a little bio there, pulled from a social network. I certainly enjoy it when I’m emailing with a new contact.
Read receipts should be familiar to many. But in Newton, they’re a little bit better. You can choose to enable them for every email, and then when a message is read, the gray check marks will turn blue. You can even click on it for more details like when it was read, if it was read on a phone or computer, and in some cases the location where it was read. If you want, there’s even another check box for getting a notification when it has been read.
Send later, remind if not replied, and undo send are pretty easy to understand. They do exactly what they sound like. There’s no settings for these, but you’ll see them when you’re composing an email.
The other two tabs of the preferences aren’t anything fancy. You can add accounts and modify the individual settings for each account in the email accounts tab, and even change the colors for each account. The general tab has all the options for interface tweaks.
However, there is a cool feature on the email accounts tab: aliases. Now, Newton already works with pretty much every email address out there. But if you’re like me, and have a fancy alias, you can add that into Newton and use it. For example, I have my personal Gmail address, but I also have my alias that I have publicly displayed online added to Newton, so I can send emails from a super-duper-fancy @ianmcilwraith.com address. It’s really simple to set it up and works without flaw. When emails get sent to that alias, you can have it default to reply from the address the email was sent to.
There’s also some good news for you two-step verification lovers: it’s built right in! It’s pretty easy to set up. Just head over to the “My Account” section of Newton (click on your profile picture on desktop). When enabled, you’ll be prompted for a code sent to the phone number on file. It works great and certainly provides peace of mind.
The desktop isn’t the limit when it comes to Newton. There’s an Android app and iOS app, with functionality extended to Android Wear and the Apple Watch. Here’s where the real beauty of Newton comes in: when you sign into Newton with your Newton ID on your phone, all your accounts and settings appear, just like that. No extra configuring. This is fantastic. The app works basically the same on mobile as it does on desktop, with a few buttons moved around. There’s also swipe actions that can be configured, so sliding left can delete an email and sliding right can archive it — however you want.
There is a calendar on the mobile version. I think it’s pretty great. In fact, I ditched the Google Calendar app for the one in Newton. But other than that, all the features are the same no matter what platform you’re using. This is huge. I can handle emails on my phone just as well as I can on my MacBook.
You’ve heard a whole lot about Newton in this review. It’s a fantastic program with endless use cases. However, it comes at a cost. Newton is subscription based, on a $50 per year price model. Some aren’t ok with this and want a free option. But I like to look at the benefit it will provide me. I don’t get a ton of emails per day, but I want to deal with them in the most efficient manner. This is, by far, the best program I’ve had to help me deal with emails.
Newton is my new favorite app. I’ve streamlined my whole inbox zero game with Newton, and I really enjoy the productivity boost it’s given me. If you’re in need of a solid program to manage your email, Newton is totally worth the $50 per year. The superchargers that Newton offers are a big help in managing email, and the simple, customizable design makes dealing with email a pleasure. Check out the links below to get Newton for yourself!Newton Mail WebsiteNewton Mail on AndroidNewton Mail on MacNewton Mail on iPhone & iPad