Tried the Newton Mail client on macOS

by on Oct 12, 2017 Tags: email software

In this interesting post about tools by Matt Birchler he wrote that “Newton is the best email app I have ever used.” Intrigued, I installed the 14-day trial.


After 20 minutes I realized Newton isn’t for me. I’m a multi-pane guy. I’ve used or Mailmate, or Mutt or Emacs/Mu4e on my Mac for years. Newton behaves differently than all of those (by default). It shows a simple list of messages, and clicking a message opens the message rather than highlighting it and displaying its contents in a separate pane. I’m not sure I’d ever get used to that.

I like my messages displayed with the newest at the top. If I delete a message in the middle of the list, Newton highlights the older message below the deleted message. That’s not how I work. I’m usually working my way up the list, older to newer. Didn’t see a way to change that behavior.

Messages can be selected using Vim bindings, which is cool. I was able to move up and down the list using my keyboard and pressing “d” to delete the highlighted message. Great. However, I couldn’t archive messages messages that way by using the “e” key. For some reason, the Archive menu item was disabled when navigating using the keyboard.

Many of Newton’s coolest features don’t interest me. Snooze, Send Later, etc. would likely never be used, so paying $50/year for a subscription would probably not be worth it.

I barely use email on my iOS devices, so I didn’t try Newton there.

Newton is a nice-looking app with some interesting features, but I’ll be sticking with my boring old for now.