Spark for Mac

The im­pres­sive mo­bile mail client ar­rives on the desk­top. FREE | SPARKMAILAPP.COM

APC Australia - - Software - JR Book­wal­ter

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.

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