If there is an application on our Macs or iPhones (and iPads) that we love to hate, it’s Mail. Apple provides customers with a decent email app– Mail– packed with more features on the Mac than iOS, but it works well enough– despite the lack of a good spam filter on iPhone and iPad.
The problem with email isn’t so much the app as it is email in general and that issue accounts for a new breed of email applications which seek to make the email management process less of a day-to-day burden, headache, or pain in the patootie. Email is what we love to hate.
My Mac, iPhone, and iPad have a variety of email applications. Why so many? Because I manage so many different websites I have many different email accounts and more requirements than most to handle incoming messages. I’ve managed to live most of this year without Apple’s Mail on any device, opting for Airmail instead because the features are useful for anyone with too much email.
Airmail features the standard unified inbox, comes with iCloud account synchronization, imports accounts from Mail and others, handles Gmail, Yahoo!, Apple Mail, and saves attachments to iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Box, and others. Notifications are per account and organizing email is a dream for anyone with email OCD. Moving email messages around on iPhone and iPad is merely a swipe. For Mac, a right click. Even better, Airmail works with SpamSieve to keep spam off all Apple devices.
Airmail is packed with features but that means a stiffer learning curve than Apple’s own Mail for iOS or even Mail for macOS High Sierra.
Also on my Mac, iPhone, and iPad is Spark, which is not as feature-laden as Airmail, but it’s free and has improved steadily the past year, plus it’s much easier to use and comes with a few functions that Mail and Airmail do not.
What’s special? Send later. That’s right. Each email you want to send can be sent at a later time. Write the message, select the time, click the Schedule button, and the message gets sent when it’s supposed to.
Send Later or Schedule, however you want to call it, is a great option to ensure that messages get sent, but not at crazy hours (which means recipients may know you’re up later or up early and want to engage in a prolonged conversation).
Also built-in to Spark is a nearby option for Reminders. That click sets a Reminder to act upon the email, and because Reminders itself syncs up between devices, you get the reminder on iPhone, iPad, or Mac. What I like about Spark is the simplicity. Many of the extra features you find in Airmail are there, but it’s less busy, easier to use, but has most of the same features many of us use.
As you would expect, reviews of Spark are similar to reviews of nearly any email app. Some love it. Some hate it. Email is that personal and evokes an emotional response when something isn’t up to expectations.
I hate email. It’s a necessary evil at times. And that comes from someone who manages most of his own email servers. If you don’t have many email accounts or much incoming email, Apple’s own Mail will work, and with SpamSieve installed you’ll get the added benefit of no spam on iPhone and iPad. If you want more granular control and management, Airmail has options which Mail does not, and syncs very well between Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
If you want ease of use, less clutter, and a few built-in smarts such as Reminders and Schedule, Spark is the one. If you need a spam catcher, it’s Mail or Airmail.