In March 2019, Google sunsetted one of the best email apps, the Inbox by Gmail services to a chorus of gripes and complaints from the many users who enjoyed the service.
Those who seek an alternative to the now-defunct Google offering, have turned their attention to a great alternative in the Spark Mail App, created by Readdle.
Spark Email wants you to love email again and steps up to bat by incorporating all of the most popular email features users loved about Inbox by Gmail, and then some.
With a clean, intuitive interface, Spark Email is simple to use and caters to nearly every conceivable email-related need.
We will take a look at some of the capabilities available in this Spark email review. Feel free to click the links below to jump to a specific section of the article or scroll through to learn about Spark’s most notable features.
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Without any further ado, let’s jump into the guide.
Rather than logging on to a whole slew of different accounts with a variety of email services, Spark email provides you a one-stop-shop for all your accounts, stored in one convenient location.
Simply accessing the settings allows for the user to select which service their account is from, and link it from that address to their Spark inbox for easy retrieval of messages. This unified inbox then collects and displays emails from all of the linked accounts.
Souped-up with features, Spark email allows for some traditional, as well as some more unique features with the user inbox.
While messages should arrive automatically, if you are eager for a refreshed screen, there is no need to switch out of the account or reopen the email in your app.
The refresh method could not possibly be more simple. Simply pull down from the top of the screen, and you will note a spinning blue circle as the email searches, as new messages are sought out.
One of the most notable features of Spark is the Smart Inbox functionality. The Smart Inbox diversified your messages in order of importance.
Recent messages you have not yet read will appear at the top, followed by personal emails, then notifications, newsletters, and so on.
This way, you can focus on the newest and personal emails before turning to any other “clutter” which may arrive in your inbox.
Spark is one of the few services to get the Smart Inbox feature right as it should be. Most people’s inboxes are typically stocked full of notification emails from various services, newsletters, as well as loads of advertisement and promotional junk mail.
The Smart Inbox reconciles for you what messages you actually need to get to, and prioritizes them for you accordingly.
On top of that, there are notifications. If you’re tired of a ding of a buzz of your phone every single time some new uninteresting email arrives, worry not.
Spark email notifications use special algorithms (formulaic methods of identifying what is necessary) to notify you only about important emails you receive.
If you are on the go but want to assure that your email contact does not feel ignored or disregarded, it’s helpful to have a quick way to answer their messages to let them know you received their communication.
The Quick replies feature in Spark provides that ability by allowing you to quickly reply to an email using just a single tap.
With a predefined, customizable string, you can even create and edit the icon that will be associated with the reply
What if you got a message, you viewed it, answered it even, but you still want it to remain in the “important” section of your inbox. This can be done with the pinning feature.
With a single swipe of the message in the inbox, the Pin option is revealed, you can select it and keep the important email locked to the top of your list. Remove it as you see fit later.
If the received emails are low priority, Spark provides an easy way to “snooze” them until you get around to taking an action later.
Once snoozed, the email is moved automatically out of the inbox and only returns at the date and time of your choosing. You are not saying goodbye to it, just a “see you later.”
Shake To Undo
Did you just delete, pin, or snooze an email you didn’t mean to take the action on? iPhone users can now simply shake their phone and the action will get undone.
An undo function also appears at the bottom of the message with the action you took. You can also tap undo to negate the action you last took.
Unlike other email services, the “Send Later” function is built into a Spark email application, requiring no plugins or additional setup steps. Simply click the “send later” icon.
Then pick the date you want the message to send, and your email will be sent at your defined time. This will occur regardless of whether you have your Spark app running at the time.
If you have ever received an email you meant to follow up with a person on, but then neglected to do so, you would appreciate the follow-up reminders feature of Spark.
Much like a “send later” feature you are allowed to pick the date and time you wanted to be reminded about the message.
When the reminder time finally arrives, unless the party that sent the email replies again, the message will automatically be moved back to your inbox. It will appear there with a follow-up reminder.
A very standard feature of adding attachments to your outbound messages is easy in Spark. Simply clicking the attached paperclip icon reveals an array of options, whether from your device or any available cloud service, and easily attaches the file you were going to send to the email.
Delete Or Archive Emails in Batches
If you need to clear some inbox clutter, Spark is ready to help you achieve your goal faster. Instead of checking off a bunch of emails or deleting them one by one, Spark allows for action to be taken on multiple emails within the same category.
For example, if you wanted to move off everything under the Newsletter settings, you can do so with Spark.
In the Smart Inbox settings, you can define the action that you want these messages to have performed on them. This action can be to mark them as read or unread, delete them, or archive them.
Then, click the blue checkmark at the top of the section header to select all the messages in the section, and simply swipe the group of emails, prompting them to have the predefined action taken on them.
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If you manage a team of employees, you can delegate tasks via particular emails. You can set up a deadline reminder with a task due date and you will be notified when it is either resolved or if it has passed its deadline.
The delegated emails can appear in a “Delegated” tab on the sidebar for you. For the persons to whom the emails were delegated, the messages will appear in an “Assigned To Me” section.
Spark also allows you to collaborate with the assignees in real-time by utilizing an easy-to-use private chat feature.
Spark also has a built-in calendar view, which is useful when replying to a message setting up an appointment at a specific time. For now, the built-in calendar works only with the Google, Exchange, and iCloud calendars.
For example, when you add a Gmail account, you can access your Google Calendar in Spark. The syncing is pretty fast. Once you create your calendar events, they’ll instantly show up in Spark.
The calendar integration can boost your productivity while checking your emails since you don’t have to leave Spark to check your calendars. This by any means should replace your calendar, it’s just allowing you to access your calendar.
One of the best Spark features is its smart search functionality. Simply typing what you are looking for will bring up a selection of likely possibilities for you to select. Let’s say you got an attachment from a friend, but it was a while ago.
Simply enter something like “attachments from Robert” and any messages with Robert as the sender with attachment attached will immediately populate to your screen.
If you are looking for much more specific attachments, Spark has you covered too. Create complex search parameters to define something as specific as you like.
For example: “PDF attachments from Shane sent two weeks ago on Thursday” will prompt all the relevant responses found but Spark for you to choose from. If there was only one, you will not have to check multiple messages.
The search is not limited to just attachments of course. You can search for links sent within a certain date range (“links from Amy sent yesterday” for instance). You can also look for words and phrases.
This makes it very easy and efficient to get to the data you want right away with minimal effort. If you commonly find yourself browsing your emails for a particular detail or attachment, this feature will reduce your efforts multifold.
Spark has added some new fun and handy features over the last year or so. One of them is the ability to react to emails with emojis.
These can be used in the email or chat features by simply taking the plus sign under the comment, and adding your emoji reaction.
A popular recent addition has been the printing feature. There is even the capability of printing the entire message thread or one particular part of it.
This applies to either emails or chats. If you prefer to store all of your email content digitally, Spark also allows for the print feature to save emails to PDF format instead.
On the later Mac operating system versions, Spark now allows you to transform your entire inbox to “dark mode”. This can simply be done by opening preferences and selecting Dark Theme support under the General tab.
You can set it to appear in dark mode when you choose according to preferences, or always have it appear in dark (or standard light) mode.
Final Thoughts on the Spark Email App
Simply put, the best email app doesn’t exist. There will always be shortcuts and room for improvement. And Spark isn’t immune to that.
My thought on Spark Mail is that it’s the best email app for people who want to take control of their inboxes and stay productive.
The smart inbox algorithm, in particular, helps users to only focus on emails that matter to them.
Spark takes care of all the junk emails, and spam to help you achieve inbox zero. Besides, the app is beautifully designed, lightning-fast, and very easy to use.