Spark for iPad teaser 001

Spark, a powerful email client from Ukrainian developer Readdle, has received a much-needed refresh in the App Store today, finally bringing out a native user interface on the iPad, so now you can experience Spark’s email magic on all your devices, including the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Spark 1.6 also includes other refinements and improvements, such as an even better wrist app with fully native watchOS 2 support, landscape mode across all iOS devices, nine new languages, the ability to keep your email accounts and settings synced across all devices via iCloud and more.

The update is being rolled this morning so don’t panic if you don’t see it yet in your local App Store as these things take time to propagate.

Finally on iPad

Billed as the biggest Spark update ever, the biggest news in 1.6 release its native support for various iPad screen sizes, including native display support for the iPad Pro as the app was specifically designed to make the most of its bigger 12.9-inch screen.

“A lot of people are waiting an iPad version to have a consistent experience on their iOS devices,” Denys Zhadanov, Head of Marketing, Readdle, told me via email.

Hands on with Spark 1.6

Check out my colleague Andrew’s quick video review of Spark 1.6.

In addition to iPad support, Readdle has also refined and improved Spark’s overall user experience in this edition of the app and fixed incorrect rendering of HTML emails on devices with iOS 9.3 beta installed.

Spark for iPhone, Apple Watch and Mac teaser 001

“Spark now becomes a universal app that has all the famous features such as unified smart inbox, quick replies, smart search, support for all cloud services and much more.”

Full iPad Pro support

Check out the following screenshots of Spark’s iPad edition.

Spark for iOS iPad screenshot 004

Spark for iOS iPad screenshot 003

Spark for iOS iPad screenshot 002

Spark for iOS iPad screenshot 001

Triage your email

A gesture-driven email app, Spark lets you triage your email with remarkable efficiency and responsiveness. A smart inbox intelligently highlights important emails while tucking away newsletters and notifications from social services under a separate category.

In addition to fast search, Spark supports a variety of cloud-storage services for attaching and saving email attachments and more, and boasts a rich settings interface with various customization options, including adjusting the frequency of notifications.

Spark for iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch teaser 001

As I wrote in my initial Spark review, this app improves your experience with every core aspect of email and will actually make you fall in love with your email again.

As you know, Dropbox is shutting down its Mailbox email client on February 26 so this is the perfect timing to make a jump to Spark for your email needs, especially if an iPad is your primary computer these days.

Spark 1.6 highlights

Here’s everything Readdle has improved in Spark 1.6:

  • iPad and iPad Pro ready—Carefully redesigned for bigger screens, Spark is the best way to work with email on your iPad.
  • Sync accounts and settings across devices—Keep Spark email Accounts and Settings in sync on every device that is connected to your iCloud.
  • Spark for Apple Watch—Spark now works even better on your wrist with Watch OS 2 support.
  • Landscape mode—Spark supports the landscape view on all your iOS devices.
  • Spark has learned 9 languages—Choose from English, German, Simplified Chinese, Russian, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese and Portuguese.

“We put a lot of sweat and blood to make people like email again,” said Readdle.

Spark has evolved significantly since its debut, adding things like Exchange account support, richer snoozing and attachment options, customizable swipes in notificationscustomizable quick replies, default From: account, support for email aliases and HTML signatures, moving emails between email accounts and more.

What about Spark for Mac?

Making Spark a truly cross-device email client would require a Mac edition of the app. So, is this a priority for Readdle? In a word, yes. “We are working on a Mac version, but it will take some time to create the best email client for Mac out there, wrote the company in a blog post two weeks ago.

Spark for Mac teaser 001

“I see Spark changing the ‘Future of Work’ and I can’t wait to tell you more about it in May,” Zhadanov told me. “We have a much bolder vision for Spark. So if you were worried if Spark is going to be around for long—the answer is yes. We plan to reshape the future of email and future of work with this product.”

To Spark fans concerned that the app might fold because it doesn’t cost a dime, Readdle says that they will be introducing a business model targeted at teams that will become their revenue stream “while individual users will be able to use Spark for free.”

Spark launched as an iPhone-only app last year and is on Apple’s Best of 2015 charts.


Spark requires an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad with iOS 8.3 or later. The English-only app also includes a native app for your wrist that requires an Apple Watch with watchOS 2.0 or later along with a paired iPhone.

Grab Spark at no charge in the App Store.

  • Vinit Joshi

    CloudMagic still the most complete email solution available (iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac). Love their clean, intuitive interface with powerful service integrations.

    • That’s why I switched from Spark. Their app is quite confusing for my taste, while CloudMagic makes the cut.

  • Jon K

    Best email app. I disagree that Couldmagic is the most complete. It works well but missing ridiculously simply things like no landscape support and no gmail aliases. Until it does the basics it is nowhere near a complete solution. It may be perfect to people who send a few personal emails daily to their family or pics of their cat, but that doesn’t make it a “complete” solution to all; and is still missing basic functions promised by the developers for a year now (gmail aliases for one promised for over a year as “on their list”)

    • Vinit Joshi

      Disagree. Being feature complete is not the be-all and end-all. Look at Evernote. Seems like their stance on Alias has been updated from “on the list” to “in the works (ETA 3-4 weeks)”, so I’m still gonna wait.

      • :D

        Cloudmagic is okay for light users. Spark is much more powerful, though. I wasn’t able to cope with Cloudmagic’s limitations.

      • Vinit Joshi

        I’m someone who relies heavily on push notifications and would prefer CloudMagic over Spark any day when it comes to this.

      • Zack Morris

        agreed. spark continues to add features but won’t fix the most basic issues like badge count and notifications.

      • :D

        Hmm I’ve not had any issues with notifications or the badge count

      • :D

        But Spark also features push notifications, even for Google accounts

      • Vinit Joshi

        True. What I meant was, had some sync issues. Reliability is far better for CloudMagic.

      • :D

        It’s improved a lot – give it another go

  • Zack Morris

    Anyone know if they fixed the notification issue that has been around at every release? I also had issues with badge count. Would not update or change until app was opened. Very annoying. if this is finally fixed, I will try it out again.

  • Daniel Waske

    Ok so I’ve been using the 1st party mail client on iOS since iPhone OS 1.0 and I never felt that it lacked anything. Could you guys maybe name some key advantages of Spark or Cloudmagic over the stock Mail-app? Also, wasn’t there a privacy issue with Spark a couple of months ago?

    • Andrew O’Hara

      So CloudMagic’s nice feature is that it iCloud syncs your accounts across devices. It also has a nice UI, and push notifications for gmail accounts.

      Spark, had a smart inbox that sorts your mail, as well as the ability to intelligently determine which emails you will care about. Then only give you push notifications for important emails.

      Just to name a few features!

      • the hood

        I see and none of these features in particulat cloud syncing is available with stock mail? Pllllllease, what do we have here, a couple of representatives from CloudMagic and Ukraines finest. There is something oddly disturbing about all of Readdle’s apps I can’t put my finger on, time will tell. As for CloudMagic like magic I expect them to disappear.

  • Robin

    I think I know now what you mean. The badge app icon only works with background app refresh on and then still sometimes doesn’t show a badge number with Spark. I’ve turned on ‘show badge’ within the settings of the app for both my e-mail accounts and for ‘new messages only’ is ticked. it although when you open the app you see new e-mails. I have also allowed showing the badge app icon in the ‘Settings app’ > ‘Notifications’ for Spark. In the Spark app ‘Protect Notifications Actions’ is turned off (at Settings > Privacy).

    I have my e-mail set to fetch every 30 minutes now for Spark and have also turned on background app refresh for Spark (only). This morning I had 4 e-mail but didn’t see a badge icon although this was all set. As soon as I opened the Spark app I noticed the 4 new e-mail showing up and these were all send in the night when the iPhone was in standby.

    • Robin

      The solution to the badge ‘problem’ in my case was that: You have to go to the Spark app > Settings > Accounts > press each mail account and set Notification Preferences to ‘All’. In my case it was set to ‘Smart’ with one account and another was set to ‘No notifications’ for some reason. Maybe it would be good if this was set to ‘All’ as a standard.