Let's just face it: email stinks. But Spark by Readdle hopes to make you like your email again.
Ever since Apple opened up iOS a few years ago to include third-party email clients, there have been no shortage of good and sometimes great email apps. Mailbox was pretty great and promised to help you blaze through your email. Dispatch offered nerd and customization options and hoped to triage your email. Entirely new email services like Google Inbox took a slightly different approach to email - categorizing by type and offering a super-simplified interface. Other email clients such as Cloudmagic offered to help you manage many email accounts easily while offering an outstanding UI.
Spark by Readdle offers all that, and more.
This is not Readdle's first rodeo into productivity on iOS, not by a long shot. Readdle is one of the first (if not the first) with productivity apps for iOS. They were making productivity apps for iOS before it was even called iOS. They have an impressive catalog of apps that help you manage notes, documents and calendars. In fact, if you follow me you'll know that Calendars 5 has been my default calendar app of choice for over a year now on iOS.
So when Merlin Mann began talking about "an impressive email app by Readdle" in some of his recent podcasts, I immediately contacted Readdle PR to see if I could get a sneak peek. And to my pleasant surprise, they obliged.
I've only had a few extra days with Spark, now publicly available as of this morning, but it is a truly great iOS email app. Here's some reasons why.
Swipe to delete, snooze, and pin for quick email triage. If you do email of any kind, you probably get a lot of stuff you don't want and just a few things a day that you do. Spark doesn't vary much from other clients like Cloudmagic, Inbox, or Mailbox in that it lets you swipe quickly to get through your email in a flash. Other mail clients offer this, sure, but Spark has implemented lessons learned from other apps very well.
Most important stuff at the top. New emails, emails you've deemed important by pinning them stay at the top until you move them. Read emails automatically go to another section once you've tapped out of them.
Multiple inbox support is wonderful. Managing multiple email accounts, even getting them to display inline in your inbox is no problem for Spark. Adding new accounts is easy, and you can set individual settings and notifications for each account.
Nicely formatted message threads. Hate getting those emails back and forth from the same person and seeing all that nasty formatting? Me too. That's a thing of the past with Spark. The app is very innovative by cleaning up all the junk and letting you see your message thread in a nicely formatted way.
Game-changing searching. I'm a big Gmail archiver, and I want to be able to get info from an email anytime I want. Spark's search is really great. But here's the kicker - it's not just search, it's smart search, based on your natural language. For instance, if I wanted to find all the attachments from grayer.com email addresses, that's what I would type - "all emails with attachments from grayer.com emails" - and Spark finds it. This is incredible to me and a game-changer. I'm always needing to find what I need but don't know exactly where to find it, so this natural language and fuzzy search is fantastic.
These are just a few of the reasons why Spark by Readdle will be my default email app for the forseeable future. This was, by no means, a comprehensive review - for that, you need to hit up Federico Viticci's review at MacStories - but I hope I've given you enough to just go try this free email app on the iPhone. It's a fantastic 1.0 product, and with Readdle's track record, it will only get better and better.