Lockdown boredom means that I am always looking around for new apps and services, especially email apps, and that is how I came across Spark which, on the face of it, looked to be very promising. However, as I experimented with it, it became clear that Spark and I were never going to be friends. This doesn’t mean it is a bad email package, just that the way I work with email and Spark didn’t have matching personalities or methodologies.
Spark Smart Inbox Obsession
First, Spark has a preoccupation with the magic, all-inclusive inbox while I prefer to monitor each email account individually. Setting up two Gmail accounts was, to be honest, a PITA. Account one was easy to set up with an email address and account name and smart inbox turned off. So far, so good.
Add a second account and enter the email address and account name in the setup and turning off smart inbox for some reason removed the account name from the first account turned smart inbox back on. I have no idea why this happened, but I uninstalled, reinstalled and set up two accounts on numerous occasions before realising that Spark kept all details on its servers unless I hit the “delete all my data” button.
So, eventually, I managed to get two email accounts set up and firing on all cylinders. This is when I hit my second bugbear. Spark insists on keeping all emails in threads or conversations, as they are sometimes called. The developers are quite within their rights to create a working environment that fits in with their mindsets. It’s just that I want my emails as individual messages, not linked in a stream with other emails on the same topic.
Spark IoS Bias
I might have persevered with Spark if it had allowed me to turn off conversations/threads, so I deleted all data and the app for the last time.
Spark also appears very Apple orientated. One of the reasons I looked into it was because it linked with TickTick; well, the IoS version does but not Android. It seems a bit odd if you develop a package to work on one operating system, why not do the same for another.
Further evidence of a hard IoS bias is in the press kit available on the Spark website. Go to the screenshot section and everything is Apple orientated. Call me old fashioned, but I am not going to go out and spend hundreds of pounds on what I consider overpriced iPhones just to enjoy the full Sp[ark experience.
If you are an iPhone and iPad user then I would encourage you to dig into Spark as it is, after all, free and you just might find you have a new best friend.
As for me, I will continue using Aqua Mail.