Is there a more loathed form of communication today than email? Nope, not in my opinion. Are there way too many email apps that promise to make it easier to manage those messages? Yep.
When an app like Spark delivers on its promise to keep you from sinking into the email marsh — for free — it's worth a download. Here are five reasons why Spark, which recently received a significant update, just might be the only iOS (and Apple Watch) email app you need.
Spark supports Gmail, Yahoo!, iCloud and Outlook
Many email apps work only with Gmail accounts, or maybe Gmail and Outlook, but Spark supports all of the most popular Web mail clients.
Customize what happens when you swipe Spark
The majority of mobile email apps let you take action on messages by swiping left or right. Spark lets you determine what happens when you swipe left, right, halfway or all the way. You can pick the swipes that mark messages as read or unread; delete or archive them; or move, pin, or snooze messages.
Swipe with Spark to switch between multiple signatures
A single email signature never really does the trick for me. Spark looks at how you typically conclude email messages and suggests multiple signatures that you can choose when creating a new message. Even better, unlike some free email apps, Spark doesn't create a self-promotional default signature for you. Multiple signatures aren't available when you reply to email, however.
Spark shows all your attachments in one place
Spark shows you all the attachments you received in email on one screen, which can save time when you're trying to hunt something down.
Spark connects to multiple cloud accounts
Attaching documents in the cloud to email is simple, as long as the docs reside in Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, OneDrive or iCloud. Spark also lets you share files and save them to other popular options, including Readability, Pocket, Evernote, OneNote, and Instapaper.
Spark isn't perfect; it crashed on me a few times, even after I closed all other open iPhone apps and rebooted my device. The Apple Watch extension is promising, because it lets you respond to messages — Apple's own iOS Mail app currently does not. However, I can't find any evidence that my email responses were actually sent, which is troublesome. And as of this writing, Spark isn't optimized for iPad or available on other platforms.
Even so, I like Spark a lot and plan to continue using it — at least until the next shiny new email app arrives, which should be, oh, 20 minutes or so.