Review: Reignite the iPad email experience with Spark

Reignite the iPad email experience with Spark [Reviews]


The iPad app is even better than the already amazing iPhone app.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

One of the best email clients for the iPhone just got even better. Spark, which promises that “you are going to like your email again,” is now available for the iPad as well. And this isn’t an all-too-common instance of developers just stretching out the iPhone version of their app and calling it a day. Spark is fully optimized for the iPad’s larger display.

Let me start off by saying that Spark is by far my favorite app on my iPhone — not even just for email. Over the past few years, I grew to loathe checking my email because I knew I’d be inundated with messages as soon as I’d open it. But Spark, even more so than Mailbox once did, does an utterly fantastic job of organizing types of emails like newsletters by grouping them separately, then presenting the new and most important stuff right at the top. With a quick gesture I can archive, delete, pin or snooze any email, the latter of which will remind you about it at a later point.

Your recently viewed emails pop out nicely from the side.
Photo: Readdle

I’ve been waiting patiently for Spark to come to iPad and that glorious day is finally here. I had the privilege of being able to test the beta version and even that was remarkably stable for a beta.

Perhaps the best feature right off the bat is that Spark can sync your accounts and settings among devices. If you were already a Spark for iPhone user, setting up the iPad version should take literally seconds. If you’re new, Spark supports Google/Gmail, Microsoft Exchange, Yahoo, iCloud, Outlook and more.

Once you’re in your Smart Inbox, you’ll notice the iPad version has a handy toolbar on the left for quick access to common features. These toolbar items pop in from the left, too, so they won’t interfere with what you’re currently doing. Here you can bring up your calendar and add new events, a list of emails with attachments in them and my personal favorite: the Recently Seen view. I can’t tell you how many times I get lost in different folders with different emails and don’t know how to get back to something I read before. Recently Seen collects every email you opened from every folder and lists them in the order you opened them. It’s delightful.

Spark is highly customizable from head to toe.
Photo: Readdle

Since most of the features in the iPad version are already in Spark for iPhone, going into too much depth would just get repetitive. But for those of you who aren’t familiar with Spark, the iPad version brings over some awesome features like smart search with natural-language support, unified inbox, save email as offline PDF, smart notifications (which intelligently won’t send an iOS notification for junk mail) and swipe to change signatures.

It blows my mind that Spark is free but it is. (Thanks Readdle!) If you’re annoyed with Apple’s stock Mail app for iOS or coming from Mailbox ahead of the shutdown, definitely give Spark a try for iPhone and iPad.