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App spotlight

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Email apps for the iPhone that promise to help you hit Inbox Zero are everywhere, but SquareOne takes an interesting approach: It automatically organizes all of your mail so you can dive into details when you want, control who gets your attention, and overall boost your email signal-to-noise ratio.

The video above does a good job of walking you through how the message works -- think of it like Gmail's custom inboxes and priority inbox on steroids (which makes sense, since it works with Gmail). The real difference is you control those inboxes, you control who goes there, and you control who gets to notify you via push notifications and who doesn't get your attention at all until you check it yourself. Shipping notifications, personal emails, automatically generated newsletters or daily deals, they're all automatically routed to the right inbox, and a single swipe turns their notifications on or off.

If a message comes in that needs to be filtered, a single swipe from the inbox view will do it, and you can always go back to the 10,000-metre view to see all of your inboxes, what's new in each one, and to check what you might have missed while you were working on something else. The beauty of the app is it allows the really important messages to float to the top without getting bogged down by other messages, and you have more control over it than something like Priority Inbox, which can be hit or miss when it comes to deciding what is or isn't important.

In addition to sorting and filtering, SquareOne also gives you metrics about your email use, like how overloaded your inbox is compared with other users, your average response time to an email, how many messages you get in a month, and so on. It's all interesting data if you've ever wondered exactly how much time you spend on email. SquareOne is free and available now for iOS devices (note: iOS 7 is required). The developers say Android is on the way soon.

Lifehacker.com

-- Distributed by MCT Information Services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 16, 2014 A12

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