Spark for Mac
The impressive mobile mail client arrives on the desktop. FREE | SPARKMAILAPP.COM
Readdle made a splash last year with Spark, a feature-rich iPhone email app that, while far from perfect at launch, quickly blossomed into one of the best mobile mail clients around. Now Spark is coming to the desktop.
Spark for Mac isn’t yet a straight port from iOS, but successfully checks off most of the key features, including Smart Inbox (which automatically sorts incoming messages), natural language search, Quick Replies and smart notifications. The macOS version also syncs existing accounts, signatures and other settings from iOS, which made our initial setup almost nonexistent.
The app bears more than a passing resemblance to rival third-party email client Airmail, which itself sticks to the tri-paned playbook established by Apple Mail. Accounts and folders occupy a small dark sidebar on the left, with a list of messages in the centre that can be configured to preview up to three lines of text. The rest of the window displays full messages in a threaded, conversational view. There’s no way to open individual missives here, although you can by double-clicking from the messages list. Navigation is intuitive, but Spark lacks some of Apple Mail’s nicer features, such as contextual menu shortcuts or the ability to make important senders stand out with color-coded rules.
Spark makes up for this with more elaborate gestures: swipes can be configured to perform a total of four different actions (two each at left and right), including Move and Move to Spam, which we use far more than the clichéd Archive option found in modern email clients. As with Mail, it’s also easy to move messages between different mail accounts — something we do daily — although Spark sometimes took upwards of 15 seconds to complete such tasks.
For a first release, Spark for Mac is impressive and, best of all, free. There are no ads or features to unlock — at least not yet. Readdle plans to eventually offer in-app extensions that add new features, and hopefully deliver feature parity for missing iOS features such as connected cloud services and sharing extension support.
Spark successfully makes the leap to macOS, but work remains before it’s a match for the superior mobile version.