iPriority Mail Shows You What’s Important

Price: FREE (for 30 days)    Score: 8/10    By Steve BeaudryiPriorityMail - Instant Email Notification

Email is a wonderful thing. Just about all of your favorite web applications and social media sites can notify you of updates using email. Unfortunately, this often leads to a cluttered inbox (depending, of course, on how popular you are).

iPriortyMail by Ahlquist Software helps you out by not only notifying you of incoming email, but also filtering that email by sender and giving you options for a different type of notification per sender. What’s really great is that it comes with pre-set settings for popular social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. If you’ve been counting on email notifications to tell you when you’ve got something new, this is your app.

It’s important to note that this is not a fully functional email client. When it sends you the notification, you can read the email in the app, but when you press the reply button it takes you to the iPhone’s native email app. I haven’t decided whether this is a good thing or not. On the one hand, the iPhone’s Mail app is all one needs to compose an email and it works perfectly. On the other hand, it gives you one  more step, one more second of loading time. Before iPriorityMail, I used another app for notifications and it was able to show me the alert and, upon load, switch to the appropriate app. iPriorityMail’s system makes it faster to see the mail and decide to respond, but it also acts as an unnecessary middle-man. So, there are pros and cons to the system here and they seem to be about equal to me. If there’s something you prefer, I’m sure you can make that decision.

The big draw here, however, is its integration with social networking sites. If you have Facebook email you every time you get a new notification, or Twitter every time you get a new DM or Follower, iPriorityMail will automatically detect that email address and give you a whole new set of settings for those notifications.  There are dozens of different ringtones from which to choose including ones that simply have a female voice saying “Twitter” or “Facebook.” The ability to change the ringtone also extends beyond simple social networking sites to whatever contact you wish to differentiate from every other email. Choose whatever contact is in your address book and create a unique notification for him so you instantly know whether or not the email you’re getting is important just by the sound.

iPriorityMail is free to download and try out for a month, but after that you have to pay $0.99 for the privilege of push notifications. Use of Apple’s push servers isn’t free, so, like most developers without a major corporation behind them have decided, the cost gets pushed out to you. So, if it’s worth it to you, then it’s a pretty good deal. Personally, I’m a cheapskate and would rather stick with the native app with its little red number on the corner.

All in all, this is a solid app that does what it aims to quite well. You can tune out certain emails in favor of the most important ones and give those emails that you choose a specific alert that tells you exactly what’s coming in. Not a bad deal at all, I say.

iPriorityMail requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch.

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