iPhone and iPad Mac

Why You Should Be Using Spark to Manage Your Mail on iPhone & Mac

Khamosh Pathak 27-07-2017

There aren’t many email apps that work across all Apple devices, with consistent feature parity. There’s Apple’s Mail app How to Make Apple Mail a Better Desktop Email Client Take the time to set up Apple's boring email client just right, and make email processing as painless as possible. Read More of course, but that’s a bit too basic. If you’re all-in on Apple ecosystem, Spark is probably the email app you should be using on all your devices: iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch.


Spark is part of a new breed of email apps, ones based on a smart inbox. If you deal with a lot of email, across different accounts, you’ll appreciate how it only notifies you about important emails.

The app is free everywhere, has a lot of smart and useful features, syncs settings between all devices, and is immensely customizable — from the layout to swipes to keyboard shortcuts on the Mac. Here’s why you should be using Spark as your default email client across all Apple devices.

1. Smart Inbox Automatically Categorizes Your Emails

Spark’s Smart Inbox sorts your email into three categories: Personal, Notifications, and Newsletters. They show up as widgets on the app’s home screen and you can expand a section to see all new emails. You can mark an entire section like Notifications as read with just one swipe.

Spark email app mac widgets

The Personal section is where you’ll find the actually important email — ones from your friends, family, and colleagues.


And of course, you don’t have to use the Smart Inbox all the time. From the sidebar, select Inbox to return to the traditional format.

2. Natural Language Search

Spark email app search

In my experience, when it comes to email search, nothing can beat Gmail’s web interface How to Use Gmail Like a Desktop Email Client in 7 Simple Steps Would you ditch your default desktop email client, if Gmail had more desktop-like features? Let us show you how you can set up Gmail to behave more like a desktop email client. Read More . Spark comes close. With Spark, you can use natural language to search. You can type “email from John with attachments” and it will show you just that.

3. Smart Notifications Fight the Clutter

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If you have Smart Notifications enabled, you’ll only get notifications about the important emails (from the Personal section). Plus, you’ll be able to 3D Touch Everything You Can Do With 3D Touch on Your iPhone 3D touch is really just a fancy name for a pressure-sensitive screen, but adds a whole array of extra input options to iOS. Read More notifications to mark the email as read, delete it or send a Quick Reply right there.

4. Quick Replies Save You Time

spark email app mac quick replies

At the end of an email, you’ll find the Quick Reply section. You’ll see buttons like Thanks, Like, Smile, Love, and so on. You can tap on More to see all Quick Replies. When you tap on one, Spark will automatically reply to the email with the Quick Reply.

Sometimes we spend too much time writing replies to emails that were entirely unnecessary. The Quick Reply feature takes all the thinking out of it and once you start using it regularly, you’ll come to appreciate just how time-saving and liberating this little feature really is.


5. Pin or Snooze Emails

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Mailbox popularized the concept of snoozing an email How to Deal With Inbox Overload and To-Do Lists in Emails Email is not just communication, it also largely dictates your to-do list. Let's talk about the best tips to link the inbox to our productivity with Andy Mitchell -- the founder of ActiveInbox. Read More . And Spark continues the legacy (in many ways Spark is Mailbox’s spiritual successor). The snooze button lets you delay dealing with the email. You have options like Later Today, Next Week, Someday and the ability to pick a date. When you snooze an email, it disappears from your inbox and comes back as an unread email when the time has run out.

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Another way to deal with email is to pin important emails. You can do this from swipe gestures or when reading the email. Pinned emails are accessible from the sidebar and can be added to the app’s home screen as a widget.


6. Smart Inbox Is Customizable

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Spark lets you customize the inbox experience so you can work just the way you like. In Personalization section in Settings, you’ll find three sections: Sidebar, Swipes, and Widgets.

In the sidebar section, you can add more shortcuts like a smart folder or Recently Seen.

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Spark has four customizable swipe gestures for each list item — short and long swipe gestures for both edges of the list.

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From the Widgets section, you can add more sections to the home screen. Adding a section for Attachments, for example, can be quite useful.

7. Easily Deal With Multiple Signatures

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Spark can recognize when you use different signatures 7 Tips for Creating the Perfect Professional Email Signature We've written a lot about how to email like a pro, but one aspect that's regularly overlooked is the email signature. Here's how to set up the perfect professional email signature. Read More and it will prompt you to save them. You should do that because Spark makes it really easy to switch between all saved signature. You can add more signatures from Settings (it accepts HTML input as well).

When you’re writing an email, you can just swipe between multiple signatures. Another time saver.

8. Spark Integrates With Popular Tools

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Spark lets you connect with services like Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote, Pocket and more. You can easily add attachments that are stored in your Dropbox account 5 Brilliant Dropbox Apps You Didn't Know You Needed Many of us only use the default Dropbox app and nothing else. Third-party developers have made some fantastic Dropbox tools that every user should know of. Read More and export email content directly to a note in Evernote How to Use Evernote as a Project Management Tool Evernote offers more than note-taking. No matter the chaos, you can turn Evernote into a project management tool. Let's see how you can use it to stay on top of your projects. Read More . All of this without ever leaving the app.

9. Sync Accounts and Settings Using iCloud

Spark will sync your connected accounts, custom settings and signatures using iCloud Better Than iCloud? 6 Superior Cloud Services for Apple Users In some ways, the things that make Apple such a great hardware and software company make it bad at the cloud. Read More . This makes it really easy to switch between devices or when it’s time to setup a new device.

The sync is reliable and fast. In my testing, changes with swipe gestures on the iPhone were instantly updated on the Mac as well. The sync engine works reliably for normal email tasks like archiving and pinning emails (much better than Apple Mail app).

10. All the Little Delights

spark email app for Mac settings

Spark is filled with little thoughtful features:

Download Spark for your iPhone or iPad or grab it on your Mac from the Mac App Store for free and give it a whirl today!

Make the Best of the Tools

Spark gives you the tools to deal with email. How you use them depends on your workflow. If you’re an Inbox Zero 5 iPhone Apps to Help You Reach Inbox Zero Struggling to reach Inbox Zero like the rest of us? These five iPhone apps can help you get there. Read More kind of person, use the swipes to quickly organize your inbox. Pin the important emails so you can come back to them. And remember, snoozed emails always come back!

Currently, Spark is the only free cross-platform app with feature parity. But if you’re looking for something else — something more feature rich — look into Newton or Airmail. Both have clients for Mac and iPhone and they’re filled with powerful features like undo send, email scheduling, action libraries and so on.

What email apps do you use on your iPhone and Mac? What does your email workflow look like? Share with us in the comments below.

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  1. Michail Dim. Drakomathioulakis
    July 27, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    Spark for iOS is indeed a feauture-rich app, and I've been using it a while back, when at June I suddenly realised that some of my most recent (at the time) Gmail messages (both sent and received) were missing. They weren't archived, but deleted!

    Since no other changes to my usual workflow had taken place, I supposed that that was a Spark issue. I reported the bug both to Readdle and Google, and I immediately switched back to Apple Mail. Google helped me restore some of the deleted messages, but, unfortunately, some very important work emails were gone forever...

    I'm not 100% sure if Spark had anything to do with this, and it's a pity, cause I liked it, but I don't want to take anymore risks of loosing important emails.