For fans of the Newton email app, this week brought some good news. The service was closed last year and but was bought out by mobile phone company Essential and came back alive and kicking this week (February 5). If you were a user of Newton and your annual subscription was still live at the time of closure, you can sign in and this will continue until it elapses. Because of the gap between the service closing and relaunching, this will be keeping the support team pretty busy, so bear with them and exercise some patience.
The purchase of Newton by Essential has had some folks scratching their heads. The acquisition of a top rate email app by a mobile phone manufacturer isn’t exactly logical. However, seeing as Essential was founded by ex-Googler Andy Rubin, a man whose brain is probably the size of a small planet, who am I to question the motive!
Newton Mark Two
Another question raised with Newton rising Phoenix-like from the ashes is that of the subscription price. There was a lot of debate over the $50 a year cost of the service and it is thought that this business model was not sustainable for the business to continue. The Newton Mark Two service is pitched at exactly the same price point which indicates that the service is being subsidised by Essential. How long that can last is questionable as the Essential phone itself was not greeted with much enthusiasm and its website shows the phone as being out of stock.
Another issue is the number of Newton users who looked elsewhere for an email client. I opted for Bluemail and there are scores of other clients available on the Play store, some good, some, how can I put this nicely, bloody appalling. If I was leading the marketing of the relaunch, I would have opted for a cut-price offer to woo back previous users.
I won’t go further into what makes Newton such a great email client, You can read that on my blog post here.