Hands-On with Newton for Windows 10

Posted on August 18, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Windows 10 with 46 Comments

Hands-On with Newton for Windows 10

I may have found my new email app: Newton for Windows 10 combines the minimalist look and feel I want with an efficient workflow that really puts it over the top.

There’s just one gotcha, and it’s going to be a showstopper for many: Newton isn’t free. In fact, it’s quite expensive.

Newton, sometimes called Newton Mail, is a product that’s been available on Android and iOS for years—literally, it debuted way back in 2013—and it’s developed a loyal following. Newton is also available on the Mac—the “simple, clean and beautiful” design of the Mac version is the basis for the Windows version—leaving only a web client (that would work everywhere, including Chrome OS) missing in action.

But what Newton does deliver on Windows 10 is something that’s been sorely lacking from any Windows email client, whether you’re talking about the tinkertoy Mail app that’s built into Windows 10 or the over-the-top complex Outlook 2016 that business users are saddled with. That is, Newton is clean, simple, and efficient. And the learning curve is small.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I recently complained about Outlook 2016 because I reevaluate software regularly, and I brought this pig of a product up to see if anything had changed for the better. It had not, at least not enough to make me ever want to use it. And I was struck by how terrible this application was compared to superior implementations like Outlook for Android and iOS.

I’ve been using Google’s Inbox client, on the web on Windows 10, and in mobile app form on Android and iPhone, and it’s just hard to find a native application that works as well on Windows 10. The built-in Mail app is a joke, as I’ve noted, with gigantic touch-friendly controls whether you’re using touch or not. And I’m not normally a fan of third-party mail apps. Especially those that aren’t available everywhere. Consistency matters too.

But Newton. Oh, my.

Here’s what Newton delivers.

A “simple, clean and beautiful” user interface. As Newton claims, this app is nicely minimalistic. Is, in fact, even more minimalistic than the Inbox web app I currently use and prefer.

Efficient. Thanks to simple and easy-to-remember keyboard shortcuts (CTRL + ENTER to send, “E” for archive, “ESC” for close, and so on), touch typists such as myself will find Newton to be the most efficient email client they’ve ever used. This thing is wonderful.

Configurable. While some configuration options are missing (see below), you can tailor this app’s behavior in important ways. For example, I prefer to return to the inbox view after I archive or delete an email. That’s not the default, but you can change it.

Full-featured. Newton includes all the basics you’d expect, but also supports Windows 10 features like push notifications, plus Read Receipts, Send Later, Snooze, Connected Apps, Sender Profile and Undo Send, among other advanced features. Chances are this will meet your needs.

There are mobile clients. As noted, there are Newton clients for both Android and iOS, and for the Mac. And unlike with Outlook, they look and work just like the Windows 10 version.

It’s a Store app. I often complain about the lack of high-quality Store apps, but Newton is a great exception. It’s only available on Windows via the Windows Store. This will help anyone trying to “modern up” and will someday contribute to Windows 10 S being viable. Which it is not, yet.

Newton, alas, is not perfect.

The biggest issue, and this is one that people have been complaining about on other platforms for years, is that there is no way to resize the text or otherwise scale the app display. It’s worst in the inbox list, which I can live with. But in this era of high DPI displays, there is no excuse for this shortcoming.

Second is the cost. When you first download Newton from the Store, what you get is a 14-day trial only. After that, you need to pay. And not just once: The cost is $50. Per year.

I know.

Still. This is very interesting to me. I will keep testing it.

Newton for Windows 10 is now available from the Windows Store.


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