The search for a good email app is never-ending, much like actual email. I never use the standard iOS client – I’d rather miss a job lead or an important message from a family member than sift through that dreck. Instead, I just go for the handy-dandy Gmail Safari web client, which usually does everything I need it to. Thankfully, Spark makes things a tad easier despite a few shortcomings.
The main gist of Spark is that it features a clean interface, built with the “card” UI you’ve seen so often these days. Spark sorts by three categories — notifications, newsletters, and personal emails. I was surprised to see how well everything was sorted on my very first login attempt, as it was easy to see who was a real life human being and who was sending me coupons for half-off appetizers at Chilis. This mechanic allowed me to sort through all of my human interactions first, and move on to the automatons second.
There’s also a “read later” option for messages that you don’t quite feel like dealing with (I call it the “in-law button”), and you can customize your notification levels to ensure that you aren’t being bothered by every single food or fashion deal in the country while you’re out eating or clothes shopping. The bad news? There’s no Mac or native iPad app, which makes things tougher if you juggle multiple devices. There’s also no in-app browser, which is a major flaw for a one-stop shop type of management system. It also doesn’t play nice with bulk email, as there are no tools to manipulate multiple items at once.
My main issue with Spark is that it doesn’t “just work” on all of my devices – with the caveat being that it does work on the Apple Watch, which would alleviate some of that concern. If I’m going to go through the effort to link my service, I shouldn’t have a complete workflow stop because I can’t access it elsewhere. While it definitely has potential, I’m not sure that I’m ready to make the full switch, but I am hopeful.
Spark is an iOS app that can be downloaded for free in the iTunes App Store.