Readdle’s Spark, my new favorite go-to mobile email client, received a big update in the App Store today. Although you couldn’t tell it from a minor version number change (1.0.1), the new version does make the app much better while fixing a plethora of user-reported issues.
For starters, you can now delete and archive emails in bulk, a tremendous productivity boost. Next, Spark now consumes less energy, which is always a good thing.
You can now empty your Trash with a single tap, as opposed to selecting multiple messages before hitting the Delete button, like before.
Security advocates will definitely appreciate a new setting to disable loading of remote images, which protects you from spammers while keeping data usage under control.
On the downside, today’s update has removed a pair of useful features due to mixed reviews, though Readdle assures us it may bring them back “someday.”
Readdle giveth, Readdle taketh: sadly, this edition of Spark removes read receipts and Microsoft Exchange from the list of email account types.
I couldn’t care less about Exchange (though the app still supports Exchange servers via IMAP connection), but I seethed at the removal of read receipts. Now, Readdle claims it’s only removing read receipts for new Spark installations “due to mixed reviews,” but something tells me the decision may have something to do with read receipts overloading Spark servers.
I’ve been enjoying Spark’s read receipts delivered in the form of native push notifications.
In fact, it’s one of the little things I couldn’t live without. But if Spark wants to be taken seriously in the workplace, it better revert this unusual decision.
As for Exchange accounts, which Spark now supports only through IMAP connection, the team is apparently working around the clock to improve Exchange support and will restore Exchange as a standalone email account type “once it will be ready.”
Spark 1.0.1 changelog:
- “Edit mode” allows you to delete and archive emails in bulk. Just tap and hold on the email in the list to activate it.
- “Delete all” button for Trash and Spam folders. Empty your Trash with just one tap.
- You now can disable “Load remote images” to protect your privacy and save data usage.
- readdle-spark:// URL scheme for use in other apps
- The Icon Badge now works better in background.
- Battery usage has been greatly optimised.
- Added Support for more custom IMAP accounts.
- Authorization issues for iCloud email accounts.
- Email draft created with Spark sharing extension not being saved.
- Email synchronization issues.
- Issue that was asking you to log in into an already added account.
- Reduced the number of times you see Spark splash screen while launching the app.
- More than 30 other issues.
- We removed Exchange from email account types list. This is only an interface change that doesn’t affects how Spark works with Exchange servers. To add an Exchange email account via IMAP connection, simply use Other option in “Add Account” dialog. We are working full time on better Exchange support and will restore Exchange as a stand alone email account type once it will be ready.
- We removed Read Receipts functionality for new Spark installations due to mixed reviews. Hopefully, we will bring it back someday.
As a mentioned in my review of Spark, there are plenty of reasons to fall in love with this sleek and fast email client. It supports popular cloud services for attachments, has a powerful search with natural language processing and its smart inbox is smarter than Google’s in that it auto-reorganizes items based on content awareness to show you the important things first.
Spark has other cool features, too, like swipe-able signatures, quick replies, smart notifications, email-to-PDF conversion and more. I especially like Spark’s Apple Watch app which puts important emails right on my wrist, with pre-populated quick replies, the ability to dictate a longer message and more.
Spark is neat and you should really check it out (it’s free).
The 82.2-megabyte app requires an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad with iOS 8.0 or later, is optimized for the native display resolution of the iPhone 5/5s/5c, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and includes a WatchKit component with a glance and an Apple Watch app.