Spark is one of the most popular email apps for iOS and with good reason: it’s fast, beautiful, and promises that you’ll “love your email again”. And there are definitely good reasons why using email has become such a nuisance in the eyes of many. More often than not, a great chunk of one’s inbox is useless junk sent by websites to notify you about something you either don’t care or already know about, or it’s spam about some fishy business proposal. Among all this clutter, meaningful mail exchanges can get lost and the frustration many users feel towards email is more than understandable. In that regard, Spark for iOS was a little gem in a mine full of limestone: its Smart Inbox automatically sorts email into categories such as Notifications, Newsletters, Pinned, and so on. All messages in a category can be dismissed by simply tapping the V symbol next to the category name. Moreover, Spark takes advantages of gestures to reply to, mark as read, archive and delete messages. It all works beautifully and I feel confident saying that Spark is the best iOS email app I’ve ever used. Spark for Mac is that and, to a certain extent, is even better.
Looks and usability
If you’ve already familiar with Spark for iOS, you’ll feel right at home with its MacOS counterpart. Of course the interface isn’t identical (after all, it’s designed to take advantage of the bigger screens found on laptops and all-in-one computers, but the design language is identical between the two apps. The Spark window is divided into three panes: on the left is a list of your email accounts and the folders therein, in the middle is a list of emails sorted by type, and on the right, occupying more than half of the screen, is the view pane where emails will be opened. It’s a clean-looking interface that, while looking different than the rest of the system, still manages to blend in.
The automatic sorting found on the iOS app is still here and still works beautifully. The gestures, however, work slightly differently. Instead of a short swipe for the first action and a long one for the second one, only long swipes work here, requiring you to click the action for a short swipe. It’s really a minor complaint, but you should be aware of it to avoid accidentally archiving something instead of marking it as read.
Unfortunately, there is no way (at least that I could find) to create custom rules for specific senders or subjects. If you think that functionality is a deal breaker for you, your best bets are still Outlook and Thunderbird.
Pricing and availability
Spark for Mac is free to download from the Mac App Store. You can get it at this link. There is no way to install the program manually.
Spark for Mac, despite the lack of a couple features, is hands-down the best way to manage your email on MacOS. For a free app, there really isn’t much to complain about. Give it a try, you’re likely to like it.