Apple Mail Engineering Manager Terry Blanchard Joins Readdle to Work on Popular Email Client 'Spark'

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Readdle has hired former Apple Mail engineering manager Terry Blanchard in a position that will focus on creating the "future of email" for Readdle's popular email client "Spark," working with an entirely new team of his choosing in Silicon Valley. Blanchard's new role, per his LinkedIn page, is vice president of engineering for Readdle.

Spark is modernizing email as we know it. We share a fundamental vision of what the future of email should be. I've always admired Readdle for their beautiful and innovative products, which makes them the ideal company to turn that vision into a reality.
At Apple Blanchard worked on the Mail team for six years, where he led a team of developers which created and continually fostered updates for the UX design and development of Apple's first party email client, simply called Mail on iOS and macOS. Besides his new title and location in Silicon Valley, Blanchard's role at Readdle hasn't been given many specifics but it's expected that the engineer will take his expertise in the email client design space and apply it to Readdle's popular stock of iOS and macOS applications.

Last November Readdle launched Spark on Mac, bringing the app's Smart Inbox feature to Apple's desktop and laptop computers for the first time. Smart Inbox intelligently organizes email into different categories (Personal, Notification, and Newsletters), making sure important messages are always highlighted first. Spark continuously learns which emails are most important for you to make inbox management as easy as possible, and on Mac also includes Quick Replies, Touch Bar support, snooze capabilities, and cross-device syncing.

Regarding its new hire, Readdle said that "Terry is a valuable addition to our team and brings years of experience from one of the best companies in the world."

Readdle's range of productivity apps for Apple devices includes PDF Expert, Spark, Scanner Pro, Calendar 5, PDF Office, Printer Pro, PDF Converter, and Documents.

Article Link: Apple Mail Engineering Manager Terry Blanchard Joins Readdle to Work on Popular Email Client 'Spark'
 
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coolfactor

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The stock Mail app remains my primary email client, but I wanted a second one for lesser-used accounts, or for more separation between my different work roles.

I used Spark for several months with some accounts, but eventually switched to Airmail, which handles large emails much better. I also didn't like the idea of my account credentials being given to Spark, or how they first download your mail to Amazon servers for processing.

Being in Canada, I primarily use Runbox out of Norway for the added privacy, as things below the border ("below the belt") are getting stinky.
 

Defthand

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It’s curious when significant contributors leave Apple to explore emerging ideas elsewhere. One would think that Apple is encouraging its product managers to copy useful features or improve on them. Or is Apple becoming another typical lumbering corporation that is unable to disrupt its established infrastructure and products?
 
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coolfactor

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It’s curious when significant contributors leave Apple to explore emerging ideas elsewhere. One would think that Apple is encouraging its product managers to copy useful features or improve on them. Or is Apple becoming another typical lumbering corporation that is unable to disrupt its established infrastructure and products?
There are signs that the working environment at Apple can be a bit toxic, and I would not be surprised if this was a contributing factor in people leaving for other opportunities. Or these people believe that they can return to Apple anytime they want to in the future, so it's a low-risk decision to leave?
 

Peepo

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I dropped spark after they had issue which security which required me to reset my Apple ID 5 or 6 times.

Did they ever fix that ?
 

dogslobber

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It’s curious when significant contributors leave Apple to explore emerging ideas elsewhere. One would think that Apple is encouraging its product managers to copy useful features or improve on them. Or is Apple becoming another typical lumbering corporation that is unable to disrupt its established infrastructure and products?
I think sometimes doing the same thing year in, year out, can get to you such that you simply need a fresh challenge. Often that challenge is in your sphere of knowledge so you don't need to start from scratch.
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Don't let the door hit ya - the Mail app SUCKS, time for someone new.
So maybe he was leaving anyway?
 

netwalker

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As Terry probably doesn't work for free, I am wondering what the Spark business model is and why it is free? How do they finance the development of it?

I also didn't like the idea of my account credentials being given to Spark, or how they first download your mail to Amazon servers for processing.
No way I'd do that. Spark documentation is not very transparent about that (at least I didn't find anything about it).
 

whyamihere

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As a Spark user (RIP Mailbox app), I'm not sure how to feel about this. The only good to ever come to Apple's Mail app were features already innovated in 3rd party mail apps... and even then it was still inferior and lagged behind. Hope this guy doesn't bring that culture to a great app like Spark.
 

Szarky

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Don't let the door hit ya - the Mail app SUCKS, time for someone new.
This x 1000. If you want to see how atrocious Apple is at basic apps that everyone uses: look no further than f'in MAIL! That damn app is terrible.

Edit: Can someone please recommend a good, simple, clean Mail app. I've used Outlook and will probably go back to it. Testing the stock Apple Mail app again with 10.3 but my guess is it won't last long before I'm wanting to throw my phone out the windows.
 

orbital~debris

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This x 1000. If you want to see how atrocious Apple is at basic apps that everyone uses: look no further than f'in MAIL! That damn app is terrible.

Edit: Can someone please recommend a good, simple, clean Mail app. I've used Outlook and will probably go back to it. Testing the stock Apple Mail app again with 10.3 but my guess is it won't last long before I'm wanting to throw my phone out the windows.
I'm really curious - what do you find terrible about Mail?
I've used it since the Mac OS X Public Beta, and it's worked really well for me.
 

C DM

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This x 1000. If you want to see how atrocious Apple is at basic apps that everyone uses: look no further than f'in MAIL! That damn app is terrible.

Edit: Can someone please recommend a good, simple, clean Mail app. I've used Outlook and will probably go back to it. Testing the stock Apple Mail app again with 10.3 but my guess is it won't last long before I'm wanting to throw my phone out the windows.
It sounds like the app isn't for everyone for one reason or another, but there are definitely many many people out there that use it, and many of them like it.
 

NervousFish2

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Maybe I'm a caveman, but I just can't seem to find a replacement for Mail. The very premise of Spark is a non-starter for me because of the privacy issues. Apple seem to be very, very committed to privacy. But adding Amazon servers as a middle man seems to run against that, especially given the App is free. No way I'm touching that. No matter how pretty it is, or what functions it adds. Its just not going to happen. I do not want my data being commercialized.

Mail is very stable, and fast. After reading an article recently, I realized that the secret to email management is very little to do with the bells and whistles of an app. Its much more to do with smart searching, and Apple's Mail does that incredibly well, with a very low battery hit. I deleted all my folders and switched over completely to smart search folders, and set a rule to archive automatically after a month. My efficiency and control has improved dramatically. Newsletter folder? Yeah, that's not really rocket science. Email is email is email.
 
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utwarreng

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This is one hire that I wish was going the other direction, so that some of the people from Spark were being hired by Apple to update the woefully inadequate Mail app
 

dogslobber

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Edit: Can someone please recommend a good, simple, clean Mail app. I've used Outlook and will probably go back to it. Testing the stock Apple Mail app again with 10.3 but my guess is it won't last long before I'm wanting to throw my phone out the windows.
Outlook on the Mac sucks terribly but Exchange seems to have bitten deep into the buttocks of corporate America so you can't escape it. Apple Mail support for Exchange is lukewarm at best.
 
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Szarky

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I'm really curious - what do you find terrible about Mail?
I've used it since the Mac OS X Public Beta, and it's worked really well for me.
It sounds like the app isn't for everyone for one reason or another, but there are definitely many many people out there that use it, and many of them like it.
My problem is specifically sync issues. I get an e-mail and read it on iCloud.com on my Windows work machine, what happens on my phone? The notification on the lock screen and the badge icon (1) don't update until I've manually opened the mail app and let it sync. Mail is painfully slow on iCloud.com, doing anything, moving a message, deleting a message. It might seem like my only problem is with iCloud.com but after using the Outlook Mail app on iOS I was blown away by their instant technical support and their user generated "we want feature X" request feature. You can just tell Apple gives no love and is always late with features. Using Gmail on desktop for work has also made me realize this, Apple is just behind.

To be fair, many, many of them like it because they don't know they can get a better experience with another app. They're just comfortable using what's already there. Nothing wrong with that, I wish I could do the same but Apple seems to have a way with making me go look elsewhere because their software just isn't good enough. Recently I've had those realizations with the Podcast app(refuse to use iTunes, what a mess that thing is), now Mail and next might be Reminders(seems to be so underdeveloped, seems like it should do more).
 

Workcreative

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It sounds like the app isn't for everyone for one reason or another, but there are definitely many many people out there that use it, and many of them like it.
I'm really curious - what do you find terrible about Mail?
I've used it since the Mac OS X Public Beta, and it's worked really well for me.
How about handling windat files why do I have to pay for third party software to handle them
 

NervousFish2

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Mar 23, 2014
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the Podcast app(refuse to use iTunes, what a mess that thing is), now Mail and next might be Reminders(seems to be so underdeveloped, seems like it should do more).
Gosh, I can't figure people out who don't like iTunes. Compared to what, exactly? The macOS version is great. The iOS version is great. And the Podcast app is properly the best podcast app out there. I've used a lot of them. It would be very hard to say Apple's podcast app had any serious competition from anyone.
 

C DM

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Oct 17, 2011
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My problem is specifically sync issues. I get an e-mail and read it on iCloud.com on my Windows work machine, what happens on my phone? The notification on the lock screen and the badge icon (1) don't update until I've manually opened the mail app and let it sync. Mail is painfully slow on iCloud.com, doing anything, moving a message, deleting a message. It might seem like my only problem is with iCloud.com but after using the Outlook Mail app on iOS I was blown away by their instant technical support and their user generated "we want feature X" request feature. You can just tell Apple gives no love and is always late with features. Using Gmail on desktop for work has also made me realize this, Apple is just behind.

To be fair, many, many of them like it because they don't know they can get a better experience with another app. They're just comfortable using what's already there. Nothing wrong with that, I wish I could do the same but Apple seems to have a way with making me go look elsewhere because their software just isn't good enough. Recently I've had those realizations with the Podcast app(refuse to use iTunes, what a mess that thing is), now Mail and next might be Reminders(seems to be so underdeveloped, seems like it should do more).
Well, I'd say that there are many that like it because it works for them and how they use it, and even knowing of other apps out there they are still happy with what Mail provides for them and don't necessarily need or want something else. But, like I said, it can certainly be different for people depending on their needs and wants and what accounts they have and how they are used to using them or want to use them, etc.
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How about handling windat files why do I have to pay for third party software to handle them
Why are those even used? I mean I've come across those perhaps a couple of times in the last decade or so, and even for those instances was either able to use something on a desktop computer for look at them or get some basic freebie iOS app to do it.