Spark from Readdle – Perfecting email on your iPhone and Apple Watch
Have you grown tired of email? Chances are you don’t regularly communicate with friends via email anymore. Why is that? Email was once the digital communication powerhouse. But texting and other messaging apps have overshadowed it recently. No doubt this is because messaging is so much quicker and easier than email. Plus there is no spam crowding your inbox. But even though email has gotten more cumbersome, it still has superior abilities that messaging lacks like attachments and archiving. Thankfully, our favorite productivity app developer Readdle is on the case to solve the email dilemma.
Looking to destroy all your email woes, Readdle has developed an outstanding email app called Spark. Spark packs in a ton of usability features while keeping the app elegantly usable. Actually Spark is the email app I’ve been looking for in every way. For the past couple years I’ve really been into the inbox zero approach. That means whittling down your email inbox to nothing by archiving older conversations and deleting unnecessary ones. Spark helps in this regard by allowing quick swipe gestures to do all of that. You can “pin” emails too. This organizes them into “Pins” folder in the left hand menu. Or you can “snooze” emails which will remove them from your inbox and them bring them back as reminders at a future time you specify. If you’re not into the inbox zero idea, Spark will still help you get organized with its Smart Inbox. Here all your personal conversations will remain at the top of your inbox, while subscription and other non-personal emails take lesser priority below. A traditional inbox view is also available.
Composing a new email is straightforward but Spark offers some ingenuity here too. Custom signatures can be created and are automatically added to the bottom of your correspondence. These can be rotated between by flicking them side-to-side. Spark will even look for new signatures you use and ask you if you’d like to use them again in the future. Adding attachments is easy too. Tapping the attachment icon brings up options to find files from your pictures, iCloud Drive, Dropbox, and other cloud services. If you want to come back to composing an email later, the cancel button will allow draft saving. These drafts can then be accessed at another time, even from another email client. This is huge as I’ve never seen a third-party email app be able to pull this off. Another awesome feature Spark offers is Read Receipts. If you send an email from Spark, the app will tell you when your recipient reads it, no matter what app they’re using. I don’t know how Readdle does this, but its amazing!
Spark tackles another email problem, that is search. I hate searching for emails in the native iPhone email app. It never finds what I’m looking for. But Readdle is victorious in this regard too. Every phrase I searched for using Spark returned appropriate results no matter how old the email. And you can use natural language to drill down to more specific emails. For example, you can search for all emails from a contact that include PDF attachments. Even cooler is that this search technology applies to Smart Folders too. These are folders that stick around in the sidebar and are constantly updated based on criteria you set. You can create them by specifying a sender, email with attachments, a period of time, etc. This is an innovative way to keep up with your email.
Spark even makes receiving new emails fun. You’ll be notified when all new emails come in, or only those that a personally sent to you. Right in the notification you can delete or archive emails. This is awesome as usually its one or the other. But Spark grants both options from Notification Center. While reading an email, you can move it to another folder, mark it as spam, save it to a cloud service, or even convert it to a PDF. If you want to see all of the attachments currently in your inbox, the side menus can show you them all in one place.
But Readdle wasn’t satisfied with delivering a stellar iPhone email app, Spark is also an amazing Apple Watch app. While Apple’s native Mail.app can receive and read email on the Watch, it won’t let you respond. But Spark allows you to do practically everything from the Watch that you can do on the iPhone. From within the Spark Watch app, you have access to your inbox, archive, pinned and sent folders. Once in a conversation you can read the entire thread history and then reply, snooze, archive or delete it. Replying to an email on the Watch lets you choose from pre-typed Quick Replies or you can voice dictate anything you want to say. It all works so flawlessly that I hope Apple pays attention to Readdle’s fine craftsmanship here. The only thing you can’t do is compose an email from scratch. This is probably due to the complications of typing email addresses on the Apple Watch.
Spark hits the ground running and has instantly become our favorite email app on all of our Apple devices. Readdle is known for its stellar app design and Spark doesn’t disappoint in this regard. Actually, I can’t see anywhere that Spark disappoints. If you’re tired of managing your email and want a refreshing look at your inbox, give Spark a spin.
Spark is just one of our favorite email apps for iPhone and iPad. We’ve collected all of our favorites here. And if you’d like to see more of our top app selections in different categories, just head on over to our Best Apps Series.
Here are a couple of our other picks of the best email apps for iPhone and iPad: