Best iPad Apps to work from Home

Fear of Coronavirus has pushed almost each and everyone of us from our office desks and forced us to work from home. But for effectively doing our daily work and to produce the same level of productivity we need the right set of tools and gadgets.

Personally I think having a Laptop/Desktop, a Phone and an iPad is the right set of tools needed because that helps to see a lot of information together with a lot of real-estate to work with.

In my previous blog I have mentioned about the Top 5 things you need to Work from Home.

Today I will continue on that with the Top 5 apps you need on your iPad to work from Home effectively.

Here are my top List of apps which are my daily drivers to work from home:

Spark – https://sparkmailapp.com/

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When working from Home, Email is probably the most used form  of communication we use. And spark simply rocks for being one of the best looking and functional tool for this purpose. I mean from the look, to the position of buttons, functionality and everything speaks about the quality of the app. Features like snooze, separation of Newsletters from emails, pinned emails, minimize email while composing are some of my favorite features some of which even the native Apple mail lacks.  It even supports split screen on iPad while composing. Plus the dark theme is simply gorgeous on Spark. Readdle has definitely created a wonderful app which sparkles in this area. This app has been sometime on the AppStore and is completely free for personal use. There is a team plan but before you purchase that you can install and use it for yourself.

Platforms – iOS, Android, Mac

Scanner Pro

scannerPro

As the name screams, this is Pro level scanner app built for iOS devices. Its a fantastic scanning tool  which helps convert your iPad into a solid scanner. You can take pictures of multiple documents and combine them into a single PDF. Super easy to scan docs which is very much needed when you are working from home. Signing or digitizing contracts can now be done all on your iPad Pro. Pair this with Readdle’s PDF expert app, and now you can do wonders on your iPad.

Platforms – iOS

PDF Expert 

Lets say you have a document which needs your signature and post that needs to be send to someone. Now during work from home, you always don’t have a luxury of printing the document, signing it and send a fax or mail to someone. Here is what PDF expert makes life. Another fantastic app from Readdle which is specially useful if you own an iPad Pro or the new iPad (any iPad supporting Apple pencil).


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This app not only helps you sign on PDF files but also create new ones, merge multiple files into single PDF, rearrange pages in a pdf as well as convert any document into PDF. I mean if you need to deal with PDFs this is an absolute must. Scan the document using Scanner Pro, port into PDF expert, fill the forms or sign on it, flatten it and send it via email to anyone. simple, no messy printer scanner business.

Platforms – iOS, Mac.

One Note – https://www.onenote.com/

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Working at home, means a lot of self co-ordination which again means taking notes, keeping on top on things to remember, action plans etc. One Note is a very powerful productivity app from Microsoft which is accessible via web, Mac, Windows, Android and iOS. It even works great with Apple pencil on iPad if you plan to use one. Taking digital notes of things is very cool plus with super power search including OCR there is nothing you can’t find later – including searching your handwritten notes. Something you can’t get with pen and paper. When remotely taking meetings or zoom calls, One note is a boon to take down notes on.

Platforms – We, Windows, Mac, Android, iOS.

Trello –  https://trello.com/

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Trello is a very old player in the game of Kanban boards and it has changed the way smaller teams do their work. With Trello all you do is create a “Board”. Thing of this as a Project you are working on. Example, say you want to create your portfolio or a website. Now create board named “Launch Portfolio”. In this case say I have created a Board called “How to Use Trello on iPad”.  After that you can creations list. These are like columns or swim lanes. Within those list you can add cards with any content your heart please. Here is a sample of what I have just created. Now as your work progresses you can move these cards around. Typically for projects I use a “Done” list in which anything which is completed is moved to. You are free to create as many lists and cards as you please.

Todoist –  https://todoist.com/

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When working from home, its very important to keep you personal and professional life separate. And for that personal life, you need a separate tool which will help your keep track of those items which are completely personal in nature. It can be a simple grocery list, paying bills, adding recurring lists or anything which can be put into personal bucket. Personally I have been using todoist for few years now and during this time when we are all working from home, todoist is really helping me get my personal chores done.

For almost all of the above apps there are good alternates available as well. But personally I think these are one of the top used apps and used by millions of people worldwide. Try these and probably you won’t regret.

Let me know what you use on your iPad to make life easier and getting the job done.

Kudos!!

Arindam from TechDaily24x7

What on my iOS device – Top 5 apps for 2020

App are the fuel of smartphones today and they really make our lives easy by making tasks easy which would otherwise be complicated. From making online purchase to paying bills to ordering food to paying utility bills, life has been a bit easier with the advent of smart phones or more specifically apps.

Today let’s discuss about the top 5 apps on iOS which will make your lives a bit more easier !!

Keeper

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With hackers trying to break into our accounts almost every moment and millions of accounts getting hacked on and on every year its high time you take security of your accounts in your own hands. And that means having strong complex passwords for each and every of your accounts be it social media, banking, email or entertainment. This is where Keeper comes into picture.

Keeper is a zero-knowledge SOC2 compliant password Vault. If you don’t know what that means, to out simply put, Keeper helps you store your passwords in a vault which you and only you can open and see, neither Keeper not any employee of keeper or 3rd party can snoop into your vault because the key to the vault lies with you and only you. This is true for most well known password managers. But Keeper’s pricing is decent and has been around for many years, if reliability is a concern.

 

 

 

OneNote

oneNote

A beautiful and well designed cross platform note taking app which comes from Microsoft. Yes Microsoft, but don’t think its for Windows only. In-fact the app is available for FREE for all devices be it Mac, Windows, Android or iOS. It has an app Store of rating about 4.6 making it a very popular option. You can not only store text notes, but audio files, PDFs, docs, images and store them in separate notebooks under sections. Hugely popular app and has been there for many many years on Windows platform but is now available for everyone to use. Oh yes and you can make annotations and draw as well. Perfect to use on iPad Pro with Apple pencil.

 

 

 

 

 

Scanner Pro

scannerPro

Smart Phones camera have become extremely powerful and so has the app which take advantage of them.

One such app is called Scanner Pro.

It use the iPhone camera to take a snap of a document by automatically detecting the border and then converting into PDF. The final rendered PDF is far better than a normal picture and almost looks as good a a professional scanner. Of-course after taking the scan you get option to adjust the borders and even play around with few settings. But generally even without doing anything it takes amazing scans.

 

 

 

 

 

Gboard

Bring the power of google search right within your keyboard. Gboard is built for iOS and brings you not only an awesome keyboard but you are able to search for emoji and gif images right within your keyboard. Its like iOS keyboard on steroids.

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WhatsApp

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You may be an iMessage fan but that not true for everyone on the planet. Billions of people use androids and don’t use iMessages. In-fact outside US, most people don’t use iMessages even when they use iPhones. Yes even me and my friends here in Singapore chat on WhatsApp even with everyone being on iOS. I don’t know why but that’s how it is. So if you have people to connect to from all over the world then WhatsApp is something everyone is already using. No matter who the person is; chances are he or she is already on whatsapp. So just save the number and you can chat /call/ video call with the person. Simple.  There are some other alternates which people use like Facebook’s own Messenger, Telegram or We chat but in terms of sheer popularity whatsApp is probably on top.

So that my top 5 apps I use everyday and can’t live without. Let me know if you have any favorites and I will love to explore them as well.

 

 

Top 5 things you need to work from Home today

The entire world is scrambling to save its people from Coronavirus and governments are taking extreme steps and precautions to save more and more people getting effected.

To be frank we have not seen this kind of devastating situation in a long time. People are panicked to even go to their nearby Grocery store. Its better to be safe than sorry later. In this extremely sensitive times, even companies have come out and taking precautionary measures to take care of their employees and stop the spread among their peers. This essentially means more and more are opting for Work from Home.

Most firms today have empowered their employees to WFH where-ever possible. But we as employees are we prepared for that? Do we have the effective tools and gears to stay and home and do our day job with full efficiency?

Let’s see the 5 basic things we need today to make sure we can  give our 100% doing WFH during this time of crisis.

Desk

Yes we sometimes forget the very first thing we need. A basic desk. If you plan to work 8-9 hours a day you need a place to sit, relax and concentrate on your work. If you want to give the same output which you generally do at workplace, then invest in a desk from where you can sit, put your laptop / desktop and other tools and work. A simple but and extremely important thing. A quick search on Amazon got me desks as low as 80$. Pretty cheap for something you will spend more than 1/3rd of your day for weeks or even months to come.

Phone Stand

phoneStand

Work from home means a lot of calls or specially video calls. Most companies even have some kind of messenger they use as office communicators like Skype business, Face-Time, Jabber, Zoom etc. Every-time you are on a video call your hands are busy. And sometimes corporate scrum calls and meetings take long hours. Which means you need to keep your phone with video on from where you can take a call without engaging your hand. A simple standing phone stand of 15$ will do the job.

Headphones / Ear-Phones

Calls means voice and for voice calls or even video calls you will need a good pair of

razor

Razor hammerhead

headphones. Now the problem is since most phones don’t have headphones, you can’t charge and talk at same time. So better to get a good wireless earbud.

There are a lot of choices but from my experience, specially for calls, the good ones are Apple Airpods, Razor hammerhead Earbuds or Jabra Elite 75t / 65t. All of these have very nice call quality and will last quite long on a charge.

There are some budget options available as well from Mi and other contenders which will get the job done.

 

Tea / Coffee maker

Now its not funny but if you are planning to work 9 hours a day on a desk you will need tea/coffee for sure. With everyone shutdown its better to invest in something which is simple for home use as well as cheap. Personally I use a Nescafe Dolce Gusto. It always has offers going on and tablets are pretty cheap (less than a dollar for a cup). Just buy few boxes of coffee tablets (has multiple flavors) and you can get buy easily for weeks to come.

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Nescafe Dolce Gusto

Has dozens of flavors to choose from. easy – peasy to make a great cup.

Keyboard and Mouse

If you have a desktop computer great but not all of us use one. Most use laptops and monitors at home. With laptops getting thin and keyboard getting more finicky its good to purchase a nice Keyboard and mouse. Personally I am a fan of Surface Keyboard or Apple Keyboards. They are small handy and the experience is great. Buy either based on your OS though both can used in either platforms. If thin keyboards are not your cup of tea then get a good keyboard with decent key travel. Logitech makes some great office purpose keyboards which won’t stretch your wallet.

surfaceKeyboard

Surface Keyboard

Lastly stay home, stay safe and keep your family and yourselves healthy.

 

Window 10 Search broken – here’s the fix

There has been a global outrage going on because of a sudden Windows 10 search seems to be broken. When users are trying to search something, all it shows is a black screen with nothing inside. Something like this:

searchBrokenSo what’s the fix?

Apparently Microsoft has fixed it and it was a issue on their end. But even if it doesn’t work for you, here is what you can try:

Step 1:

Search anything

Step 2: Open Task Manager (right click on dock and click Task Manager)

You will find a process with the name “search” inside. Its a read icon. Screenshot below.

searchProcess

Now right click on it “End Task“.

Step 3:

Now try searching something. This should start working for you now.

Note: This trick worked for us, but again it may vary from PC to PC. Let us know if it fixed the issue for you.

Thanks !!

 

Novel Coronavirus – everything you need to know

This is off topic to most of my blogs, but considering this as a Global emergency I felt that something needs to be put out for everyone.

What is Coronavirus? What are other names of it?
The full name is “Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) “. First reported from Wuhan, China on 31st Dec 2019. Its also hence sometimes called as “Wuhan virus“.

This virus is a part of the family of virus called as “Coronavirus” which typically consists of different variety of viruses leading to normal cough and cold to more severe effects.
People on the internet are calling it with different names, like “Coronavirus”, “Wuhan virus” or even “China virus”.

What are the symptoms?
General symptoms are :
Fever
Cough and Cold
Runny nose
Shortness of breathe
Though this doesn’t mean anyone having these symptons have been effected. These are symptoms for almost all types of cold flu as well. So its best to visit a doctor and take advice.

How many have been impacted yet?
Official numbers are changing with each passing day, but as of today, around 258 people have died from this deadly virus. There are about 7 to 8 thousand people who have been effected by this in China.
People in China have taken extreme precautions to protect themselves.
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Is it spreading to other countries?
Depending on how many effected individuals have traveled globally it has been transferred to other countries. Most countries at this point has strict protocols for people traveling from China or have recently been to China.
Outside China, there are about 140 confirmed cases yet, but no reported deaths due to Wuhan Coronavirus.
All the effected individuals in other countries are either Chinese nationals or have recently been to China. There are yet no confirmed cases of man to man transmission outside of China.

Do I need to be careful ? What precautions are needed ?
Transmission is most likely through close contact with an infected person via particles in the air from coughing or sneezing, or by someone touching an infected person or object with the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes.
Depends on where you live and if there has been any reported cases in your vicinity.
Generally speaking the precautions needed are:
  1. Wash your hands at intervals and specially before and after any food consumption.
  2. If you yourself feel sick, immediately visit a doctor and avoid spreading it to others via wearing a surgical mask.
  3. Don’t go to work if feel sick. This way, if at all you have been effected, it will stop spreading it to others.
  4. Be vigilant – if you spot someone with cold flu in your vicinity or office, politely ask them to visit a doctor. By working together people can stop spreading and saving others who are effected.
  5. Companies should allow their employees to work from home specially those who are sick or recently have been to China.
  6. Do not panic. If you are not sick, then you do not need to wear mask at all times. This will build a shortage or masks and people who actually need it wont be able to get the masks.

Lastly, do not spread rumors about it and read fake news or spread them. This causes unnecessary panic and will not help anyone in any way. Stick to government websites or WHO website for updated information. Stay healthy and keep your loved ones safe.

What is the next Best email App now since Newton shuts down !!

Email apps are disappearing like Tortillas on a beer bash.
Everyday we see a wonderful app declaring their shutdown.

Newton just shut their doors on September 25. Inbox from Google announced they will shut down around March 2019. Astro shut down after being acquired by Slack.

The best and top apps are just closing down one by one.

I was a Newton user for more than an year and now they are gone. It was undoubtedly the best email app I have ever used. Sync was great and it was a cross platform app working on all my devices. But now they are gone.

For many people, like me, that means their favourite email app is going away. An email app which used to be my and their daily driver, an app which we used on our iPhones, iPads, androids, laptops, tablets or desktops. An email which had super powers like Read receipts, snooze, send later, remind if not replied plus having a fantastic clean interface. Now all those powers are going to vanish in thin air. Puff…

So who will fill that void? An app which provides similar powers, works across every platform and has a great clean interface like Newton. Frankly speaking after a week of digging and installing almost every app on iOS I couldn’t find a worthy one. There is not even a single app which is there on every platform and has these features. There are alternates on every platform but gets messy as the integration simply is not there.

In simple words, after so much digging I settled with different apps on each platform. I sincerely hope someone takes this sweet spot soon.

Well first I tried with apps on iOS. Installed Spark, Edison mail, Airmail, Canary, Inbox and the native gmail app. Then Google announced they are closing down Inbox as well. A great blow to email lovers.

So how does these stand up?

Spark

Spark is a great app, looks crisp, fast, smooth and gets the job done. It will probably click the boxes for most users. It has built in smart categorizaton of emails, the emails are automatically separated into Personal, Notifications and Newsletters. It has Smart Inbox which inteligently pulls important emails for you. Ofcource the option can be tunred off. Swipe gestures, Bulk Actions, Snooze, send later and even Group Compose an email, or chat with others over an email. As of today, it is probably the most feature packed email app on iOS. Soon its coming on Android (as per their tweet).

The problem – It doesn’t have read receipts. That’s kind of an important feature. Maybe not so much for me but for people in Sales and Marketing this may be a deal breaker. The hurdle for me, I cannot make the app fetch only for some accounts whose emails I do not want to pass via a third party server. So security wise it didn’t tick all boxes for me. All your emails will pass via their servers, which is required for Push notifications as well as for their smart assistants to work. If these two points doesn’t mean much for you, spark is a fantastic app. You cannot go wrong with it. Readdle (the makers of this app) own this and has been in the game from the day App store exists. They have been too long to disappear anytime soon. As of now its on iOS and Mac only but will very soon be on android. The app is free on iOS and Mac for personal use and they charge for groups. Check their website for pricing. Give it a shot and maybe it will soon become your favorite.

 

Why I still Trust LastPass

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After the 2015 potential security breach at LastPass many people became paranoid about lastpass. Even some deleted their accounts and moved to alternate solutions or pen and paper.

Truly speaking even I was scared about my data beig secured and for sometime went back to a small pocket notebook and a pen. using a small pocket notebook, a password generator on phone and a pen was all I needed for sometime until “I lost my pocketbook“.

Ofcourse my passwords were not all in plain text, somehow I had a random text after all my passwords which only I knew so someone logging to my sites using that notebook was not much of a concern but loosing all my accesses was. Kept wondering how did all this hassle of writing down passwords helped me as I have to begin all over again. If I would have used a password manager, atleast I could have taken a backup of some sort.

So finally it was time to move back to a decent password manager. Choices were many. Lastpass, 1Password, Dashlane, Enpass etc. For weeks I went through reviews, tech articles, blogs etc. after which became all the more puzzled. But then I found out that 1Password released their 6 months account free for new users. I jumped on it, created a new account; installed 1Password on all my devices and was extremely happy with the service.

Everything was magically getting synced to all my devices. All about 6 months my trial was over, now it was time to pay for the service. Ofcourse they also need to make money, I can’t expect something like this for free (there’s no free lunch). Their desktop app (without account) was extremely expensive. I switched to iOS app version and used that for sometime. But everytime on my Mac I had to manually type those long passwords. So I decided to give a shot to lastPass or Dashlane.

I checked the prices, and LastPass was cheapest among them. Dashlane was a solid product but was expensive and it didn’t have a file upload feature which Lastpass premium and 1Password has. So lastpass became the no brainer choice. It was even free for personal use and with premium you get some extra benefits like family sharing, priority tech support and 1GB of file storage. Went with Lastpass finally. The migration was a breeze with import utility.

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The plugins were all installed on all my browsers and I started using Lastpass inspite of all the paranoid articles. Ofcourse I am no security expert and no knowledge of server side code, but since last pass had web access I decided to give it a shot and see the API calls.

I tried some random email/passwords combinations, and found that the Master Password, as claimed by them is NOT transmitted to them. Only the user Email and some device keys, encrypted userId and some Hash gets transmitted.

Here is a screenshot:

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Though something made me uncomfortable. When I tried a random test Id (but with valid domain like abc123@outlook.com which may have been someone’s actual id on LP- (apologise if someone has similar id and got a notification for failed login try – I was just typing random id which was something like this) I saw that the error message was “Invalid Password”. I couldn’t understand as I had typed gibberish and that email should be invalid. So I tried my test email with wrong password, and same message of Invalid Password was given. But when some complete junk email was provided ( xxxx@something.com ), Lastpass gave a popup asking whether I want to create an account. Now I am not sure if its because of the valid domain or lastpass validates the email in their database and provided the error message.

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This doesn’t look right to me. I think LastPass should not give any hints whether an email id valid or not. If someone tries my email id even without knowing my master password, he/she will know atleast that I have an account with Lastpass even without asking me (they can’t login to my account without knowing my Master Password though).  But this may result to phishing attacks.

But other than this small concern, the Network calls looks pretty ok. Everything is done on the device and personally speaking I liked what I saw or atleast what I understood. They really have made a solid,secure product and probably I will soon sign up for their premium version.

Thanks to lastPass for keeping us safe and taking a lot of burden for us.

Newton vs Spark iOS Email App

Comparing Newton and Spark app on iOS

Newton (previously known as Cloud Magic) and Spark both are very well known softwares among Mail App lovers.

Both of these are loved globally by many and have changed the way people email on their phone. Recently with Mac Apps for both, the game has taken an all new turn.

Newton which acquired the name recently from Cloud Magic, introduced a subscription based model instead of the free one which previously they had.

Along with the name change, they brought a ton of features to the App making it a beautiful, minimal yet somehow a very powerful option for people.

These new features are referred by them as “Superchargers“.

Both the contenders do the basic emailing just fine. Syncing emails, snooze emails, drafts, Archive are pretty basic features available for both and they just perfectly work.

The major difference being here are the Features which make them stand outside the box and ofcourse the cost. So lets see what each of them has unique and also the common ones.

1) Design: Newton has a very clean design with not much clutter and options to get confused with. It can literally be used by an 80 year gradmother with little training.
But clean design doesn’t necessarily mean beautiful design. Design itself is subjective and may differ from person to person. Saying that there are NO theme options available to Newton as of today. The UI though nice may not appeal to everyone, including me, nonetheless I am sold with other bells Newton has to offer. On a note Newton has different color codes for accounts which is missing on Spark as of now.

Spark, on the other hand has a theme option and some nice UI colors on its plate. The UI looks modern, crisp and really professional. So for design we give it to Spark because of modern look and multiple themes.

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Newton Layout with colours Inboxes

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Spark Theme Options

2) Multiple Account support: Both these apps have most of accounts supported including Exchange and IMAP. So you are good with either of them.

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Email Configuration for Multiple Accounts

3) Send Later options: One of the most powerful features of Newton is the send later option. You can compose an email now and schedule it to be send At a later date and time.
Something clearly missing in Spark and so without doubt this round goes to “Newton”.

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Send Later on Newton

4) One touch Unsubscibe: We do receive tons of newsletters and Newton has a beautiful “unsubscribe” button for those Newsletter emails.
As of now this is absent in Spark.

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Unsubscribe on Newton

winner : “Newton”.

5) Attachment: Both Apps can attach files from iOS extension (App Drawer) and hence can be used like a Desktop class Mail App on iOS. Attaching multiple files from different sources is possible (one from icloud, two from dropbox, one from OneDrive as example) and these apps does attach the original files not just links. Pretty neat for either.

6) Undo Send: Again both have that undo send option making this a Tie.

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7) Read Receipts: Another powerful feature from Newton. When you send an email to a user, Newton keeps track of that email and sends a read receipt to show if the email has been read or not. It will also show a blue double tick on the email when its read much like a chat on whatsapp.

Something Spark doesn’t have as of now. This itself makes Newton a wonderful choice and worth every penny.

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Read Receipts

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Blue Tick showing Email Read

Winner : Newton

8) Security : Newton has an App lock feature in iOS whereas Spark doesn’t. So for paranoid or security centric users this is of note.
For Server side email storage both do save some level of information at their end to provide features like Snooze and Push Notifications.
Still because of app lock Newton takes the cake here.

9) Draft Minimize: How many times have you started composing a new email, and after sometime wanted to refer an old mail to get an attachment or as reference.
After creating a new email in Newton you can keep it as Draft or discard it. But there is no way you can minimize it, refer something and come back again to finish the email.
Spark has thought of this and provided a minimize option making composing email a breeze. You can even minimise multiple emails.
Kudoz to Spark on this one, which takes the prize here.

10) Separate emails into Categories: Newton has no Smart Intelligence to separate emails from each other, something Spark does and does really well. It categorises emails into Inbox, Newsletters and Notifications. It really helps processing emails for people who have hundreds of them coming each day.

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Newsletters and Inbox separated in Spark

11) Natural Language processing: Spark allows creating some smart folders which can behave like filters. Whats interesting is it supports natural language processing like “emails with pdf attachments last week”. Just imagine that functionality.
Spark takes this one like a hawk.

12) Sender Profile: When you receive an email on Newton, tapping on the sender brings up a lot of info about the sender starting with email, company, website etc. This is a premium feature and can be of immense help to people in marketing or business.

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Newton showing sender Email, Website,Summary and even Employee count

Some comparison of features between these two apps :

Newton Spark
Multiple Attachments Y Y
Snooze Y Y
Send Later Y N
Unsubscribe Y N
Undo Send Y Y
Read Receipts Y N
App Lock Y N
Minimize while Composing N Y
Smart Category N Y
Sender Profile Y N
Smart Search N Y

Newton wins in 8/11 items vs Spark 6/11. So our obvious choice is Newton.

OUR CHOICE – NEWTON

But that doesn’t mean Spark is not feature rich. Coming from a well known company “Readdle” who makes one of the best softwares for iOS, its a very strong contender.

Its not a straight answer to say which makes a better choice. If features like send later or sender info is crucial, then Newton will fit you better, but if auto categorise email is important then Spark may be for you now.

Both of these apps are coming up with new features everyday and we never know when the other becomes more promising.

Price can be a deciding factor for people on tight budget or students. Spark is completely free whereas Newton charges 49.99$ yearly which may be a bit of deciding factor. Personally if you email a lot and not sitting in front of computers whole day then 4$ a month seems justifiable. Thats the price of premium coffee or a snack.

So go ahead try the apps by yourself and see which fits you better. I am sure you will like both of them and definitely will stick to either.

Keep Mailing !!
Arindam @ TechDaily

Minimalistic Web Designs going ballistic

Flat Design is going to stay for long, but not so for Minimalist Approach. Don’t get me wrong, I love minimalist designs starting from websites to even products. Even I use a wallet which is small and minimal. Who doesn’t like to have a simple clutter free product.
But the problem comes when this goes to a crazy scale of reducing information, which defeats the whole purpose of simplifying the GUI. 

Designers are coming up with new designs for clean intuitive UI. They are trying to showcase their skills on how clean can a user Interface be. But in all these talent fight, sometimes they are forgetting a basic idea of web design — Usability. The ultimate objective of a website is to have all the information within reach of a user and which can be instantly easy and familiar for someone to use.

The problem with modern websites is that, the information is hidden too much. For an average user, it’s hard to find what he/she is looking for. Digging through enormous menu or too many clicks to find what is needed is a hassle making it irritating for the person. Designers should focus more on the end user than concentrate on what they can achieve in terms of minimization.

But that doesn’t mean we have to be Old School and go back to 90’s designs. Absolutely not. In fact we have fabulous examples of modern websites which have excellent user Interface as well as are intuitive to use.

1) Scalable Grids — Made famous by Microsoft over last couple of years, this is something every tech company is trying to implement. With flat dynamic grids floating, it’s easy to find any info you are looking around. Arrange items as you need them. Windows 10’s success is proof of this. Many tech websites have been using this or similar approach and loved by customers worldwide.


2) Live Photos— Not a very new concept but made popular by Apple, many websites are adopting it for showcasing their products. The moment you scroll to an image, the image changes to a live photo, much like a short video showing some key info to you. It is extremely eye catching and information rich to the end user.


3) Circular View— Pretty much in effect nowadays, this type of front-end makes the user feel more in control. It’s a visual pleasure to look into these designs yet making it instantly familiar and reachable.

4) Sidebar— Probably the most successful approach of this decade. Almost everybody is now familiar with sidebar making it easy to use, show relevancy as well as king of minimal designs.


5) Typography —Typography and large fonts are very much appreciated lately. Fonts can be large and colorful and people seem to fall for it. Using colors and different fonts helps to segregate section and helps users navigate better.


6) Carousal —Still used widely and is a good approach when you want to showcase multiple products in short space. Auto changing carousal help show more in a small section.


7) Accordian —“Clear” app is a classic example of how beautifully even Accordian can be used. Many mobile apps are using accordion for menu section and seems to do the magic.


Also giving a personal touch to a website or highlighting your Brand is important and should be done without any issues. Just try not to mix multiple patterns in a single application. A user should feel he is browsing in the same page when he navigates. Try not to open multiple tabs if possible and re-loading the page for clicks is a strict No No.

Let us know if you think of some new design ideas or use-cases.