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Email service removes inbox clutter via helpful features

by JOY SCHWABACH | June 19, 2021 at 1:58 a.m.

I feel like Thidwick, the big-hearted moose from the Dr. Seuss book, throwing freeloaders overboard. My inbox is finally uncluttered thanks to OnMail, a new email service from Edison Software.

Every time a new sender is about to put mail in my box, I hit “block” or “accept.” If I hit “block,” they’re banished permanently, unless I unblock them later. It works better than labeling something “spam” in Gmail, which tends to bounce back. Even Gmail’s filters haven’t worked as well in my tests.

OnMail has many other nice features. For example, it ignores “read receipts,” those notifications senders get when you’ve read their email. That’s to protect your privacy. If businesses know you’ve opened their messages, they’ll bombard you with more.

Off to the right of each open message are three tabs: “Email,” “Photos” and “Files.” They’re handy for referring back to previous conversations. For example, to the right of a friend’s note, I see recently sent photos, a cheesecake recipe and a video.

OnMail also has my favorite Gmail feature. I can “undo” a message, un-sending anything I might later regret, such as typos. But that happens less often now because OnMail underlines spelling mistakes, bad grammar and style problems. It offers labels, too. Just click the plus sign above any message to label it. I have one label called “very special reader mail,” which is a misnomer because all reader mail is special.

I like OnMail’s automatic division of important mail into “Primary” and “Other.” It also sorts mail into folders for contacts, attachments, shopping receipts, packages, events and price tracking. On the con side, I don’t think their search function is as good as Gmail’s advanced search, but it’s close enough. What’s more, my email to a hundred history club members wasn’t as easy as in Gmail. But here’s another point for OnMail: The pro version offers 500 gigabytes of storage. That’s huge!

Admittedly, if the company hadn’t given it to me to try out for a year, I wouldn’t have gotten the pro version, which is $15 a month or $100 annually. But I plan to renew it when the year is up. Only the pro version lets me use other email addresses within the OnMail inbox. That way I can continue to compose and answer mail from my old accounts. Good thing an Android app is coming soon. An iPhone app is already available.

CRAZY WEATHER

One day, my Android home screen was showing weather for Paxton, Mass. Another day it was a naval station in Virginia, then Cleveland, Wolfeboro, N.H., etc. I was no longer getting my own weather.

The phone’s compass wasn’t to blame, because Google Maps always gets my location right. So I chatted with Google tech support. As a Pixel owner, I get free support from support.google.com/pixelphone. They suggested turning off “Improve Location” under “Settings” and turning it on again before rebooting. I had to do it again the next day, but now I’m set.

You can get free tech support for any Google product, such as Gmail or Maps, if you have a Google One account, which is $20 a year. It also offers extra storage — 100 gigabytes instead of the usual

  1. If you’re already a Google One user, go to myaccount.google.com and click “Help.” There are 14 categories, including “other.” You can chat with a tech or send an email.

CLEANER WATER

Recently, I raved over Aquibear, a machine that brings you drinking water purified by reverse osmosis. It’s not on the market yet, but Kflow is, and I think it’s better. It’s $399 on Amazon, or $100 more than the planned price for Aquibear. The company recently sent one for review.

Kflow purifies a much larger amount, up to 1.5 liters or nearly 51 ounces, compared with about 40 ounces from Aquibear. It has a beautiful glass pitcher and comes with its own water meter so you can see just how clean the water is after purification. Previously, I measured it with a $15 TDS meter from HoneForest. “TDS” stands for “total dissolved solids.” That includes lead, arsenic, chlorides, mercury and other heavy metals. Kflow is supposed to get rid of more 1,000 contaminates.

When I wrote about Aquibear, I didn’t realize that with any reverse osmosis system, you have to dump out the reservoir when the purification process is complete. That’s why my readings ranged from a TDS score of one to 94. Now that I’m dumping the old water, about 30% of the tank, the values for both machines have been below 20, which the meter says are in the “ideal” range.

With any reverse osmosis system, people complain about wasting water. But Kflow does better than most. It saves 70% of the water you put in the machine. You can water your plants with the rest. Aquibear does equally well on that score. Aquibear also has a setting for hot water, which is nice for tea.

ON THE MAP

Months ago, I reviewed my dermatologist on Google Maps. First, I did a search for her at Maps.Google.com. Then I scrolled down to “Write a review” on the left side of the screen. There’s a camera icon for adding photos. Later, I got a message saying that thousands of people found my dermatology review helpful. Wow!

Joy Schwabach can be reached by email at joy.schwabach@ gmail.com .

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