I was a Newton subscriber back when I was in college in 2015-ish. It was a good app and still is. Even through all of the selling, shutting down, and reopening. I decided to try it again in 2022 and here are my thoughts.
Before I bore you with the details, I will tell you that I have switched away back to Outlook on PC and Apple Mail on my iPhone/iPad. This is something that I have thought through and took me a few months to determine. I still come back to Newton sometimes but then I realize everything I will go over below and uninstall it.
Newton is a paid mail app, meaning they charge you yearly for the privilege of using their app. You can determine whether this is a good or a bad thing for yourself. Whether you deem it is worth it or not worth it.
It is $50/year which is cheaper than some other alternatives which can cost over $100/year or more. They do give you other features for those prices but, generally, Newton gives you similar features.
As you can see from the picture above, you can see all of your emails in one place. Here is a video that goes over the features:
They created this video back in 2016 around the time they first launched which is why all of the devices look old and outdated. It still works on every device as it shows in the picture though there isn’t an app on your watch, you just get notifications there.
As a quick overview of the video, here is a bulleted list of the features that I have used that Newton has:
- Read Receipts – You can choose to get notifications on all emails or certain ones. it simply sends a notification to you when an email is read that way your email inbox is not cluttered up with read receipts like it is with Outlook’s read receipt feature.
- Sign into one account and all email accounts are linked to your other devices. Basically, it works like a password manager. You have a “master account” which is your Newton account and that account stores your usernames & passwords for your email accounts so you can sign into all of your accounts on your PC/Mac computer(s) and then when you download and open the app on your iPhone/iPad/Android phone you just sign into your Newton account and you get access to all of those accounts you signed into on your PC/Mac so you only need to sign into them once and you are done.
- Light & Dark mods that look nice on all devices.
- Snoozing emails to get notified of them at a later date. This is a feature I used a lot for employers and such. I would snooze emails about zoom meetings and get notified about them an hour before the meeting so I would have the link fresh in my inbox so I never lost it.
- “Tidy Inbox” which filters Newsletters, Spam, and Social Media emails out of your inbox into separate folders it creates on the email server. You can choose whether or not to get notified about these and the default is no.
- When you read emails on one device, it clears the notifications from all other devices. Depending on your viewpoint on this, it may be a good thing or a bad thing. Personally, I like it. It is annoying to now have to refresh my email on all of my devices to get the most up-to-date emails or to have my PC think I have unread emails when I previously read those emails on my iPad/iPhone. Especially when they are spam emails I deleted from my watch as soon as I got the notification(s).
With Newton I have gotten to inbox zero on ALL of my emails more than I ever do with Outlook or the web applications. I am able to do this because of the snoozing of the emails as well as the filtering of the newsletters and such.
They also advertise a Scheduler feature (video below). Though it is confusing how this works. Basically, you have to create a template (manually) of the times you want to send people (and the links you want to include) and then it takes that template from your list and pastes it into the email automatically for you. Whether this is something that will work for you, that is up to you. Personally, I’m just going to use either manually handwritten times or continue my Fantastical membership and use openings. I haven’t decided yet but when I do, I will have a blog going into detail about Fantastical.
Newton has been in the news several times since its inception and it is not for good reasons. If you google “Newton Mail” you get articles like The Verge’s “Newton Mail will be saved by fans after it was saved, and shut down again, by Essential.” or the Wikipedia Article on it.
These both bring up the grave details of Newton’s recent & not-so-recent past. Newton was started in September of 2016 after it was renamed from CloudMagic. I subscribed to it that same year and was a subscriber until it got shut down in September 2018. Then on 5 February 2019 Newton was acquired by Essential Products and reopened until 12 February 2020 when Essential announced they were shutting down for good and that included Newton’s services. Newton continued to run until 30 April 2020 then it was scheduled to shut down. That was until an “anonymous” partner kept Newton running after the closing date. I have that in quotes because now we know that that “anonymous” partner was Simform and SoFriendly, two different development companies. This was announced on 13 May 2020.
Here is a quick overview of the short timeline of events:
- Opened September 2016.
- Closed September 2018.
- Reopened 5 February 2019.
- Supposed to close 30 April 2020
- Simform and SoFriendly purchase and keep it going after that 30 April 2020 date and are continuing to run it today.
You can see since its inception, it was opened and closed and opened and closed. It isn’t a very reliable company, or at least it wasn’t. It seems to be for the last 2 years (as of this article) that it is running strong. Which is why I renewed my subscription in November 2021. I did subsequently terminate my subscription and this is where we will get into the cons of using their application/service.
Their app is very glitchy. There have been times when the app just would not work at all for me on my iPad. Just take a look at this video:
It is a screen capture from my iPad Pro 10.5 on the latest update at the time. This was just 13 days ago.
Another con is something I was speaking about earlier. I purchased the Newton subscription from the Apple App Store on my iPhone. Instead of $50/year price I paid $53.99 for it on 22 November 2021. Almost $5 more than what they charge directly on their website due to Apple Fees that they take out when you make App Store purchases. So, I got it refunded on 25 November 2021. Now you may be confused as you can see I took a screen capture video on my iPad on 1 Februrary 2022, so you may be asking yourself… How did she do that? Did she get a nulled/illegal version of the app? Is that possible?
The answers to those questions are confusing but I can boil it down to this. There was some miscommunication between their servers and the App Store for my account where their servers think I have a valid subscription since 22 November 2021 when it expired 3 days later. Their servers (to this day) have not updated. I am expecting to lose access any day/moment now.
Could you try this for yourself? Yes. Is it guaranteed to work? No. Do I recommend it? No. Am I telling you to try this? Definitely not. I would never do that.
It lags on my PC as well. There will be times I have to refresh my emails a few times to get the emails I am expecting or email notifications get delayed that I already received on my phone/tablet/watch.
They advertise their community but this is a community that does not seem to be monitored by them and does not seem to get any requests fulfilled from it.
The only way to contact support is by emailing [email protected] and it can take days for a response. So, if you are having a major problem, their tiny team takes forever to respond and can cause you to miss emails unless you check online which defeats the purpose of using their app.
Newton is a fantastic app for what it is at a pretty decent price. Though I wish it were free like Outlook and Thunderbird. I can understand why it isn’t because it is expensive to run a service like this, which is why it had the history it has had.
Do I recommend Newton to those that can afford it? Definitely. While it does have its pros and cons, and spotty history, it is definitely useful if you are someone like me who has a Windows PC and iPhone/iPad that want your emails synced between them. I would not recommend it for users that have a Samsung phone, Windows PC, android watch and or android tablet. The syncing on Gmail or Samsung Internet and Windows Mail/Outlook works better than Newton would. Plus Windows syncs with Samsung devices better than other Android phones and doesn’t sync at all with iPhones because of Apple’s “walled garden” approach.
I personally don’t have $50/year to spend on an email app with all of the other subscriptions I have (including entertainment ones). So, while this isn’t the worst price out there (as in it is not expensive), it is still more than I can reason spending each year.
What about you? Do you use an email app?