Spark the best email client for BOTH macOS & iOS

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by SteveJobzniak, Nov 8, 2016.

  1. SteveJobzniak, Nov 8, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017

    SteveJobzniak macrumors 6502

    SteveJobzniak

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    #1
    The hunt for the best, most modern and powerful email client.

    Posting this to help other people out. You may disagree, but these are unfiltered opinions after 2 days of research and testing and I stand by every word.

    I was looking for a unified experience on both macOS and iOS, where I wanted a perfect client on both the Mac and on iOS. It needed to support modern features like Snoozing emails and Send Later, across both platforms, in a unified experience across all platforms.

    In the end, I discovered that NO good unified experiences exist yet. Apps are either strong on Mac but have no iOS app, or strong on iOS but no Mac app, or they have apps on both platforms but are awful.

    The good news is that the two best of the best email clients are BOTH coming to Mac: EasilyDo's Email and Readdle's Spark.

    In the end, I chose Spark (which I’ve been using for months), and uninstalled EasilyDo. The speed of EasilyDo is great, but the AI isn't all it's hyped up to be and isn't worth using a mediocre email client. Their development team is huge, though, so they have a CHANCE at becoming the best. But for now? Nothing beats Spark for sheer stability, advanced features and beautiful, intuitive GUI. And if you're a newcomer to Spark, you are going to love the "Smart Notifications", which will only alert on important emails and prevents your phone from beeping 20 times a day when you get automated newsletters.

    While waiting for the Spark Mac app, I’ll keep using Apple Mail on the Mac side. This works okay, since I do most of my email work on the iPhone.

    So it's a sad day... I wasn't able to replace my Apple Mail client on the Mac yet... but the good news is that Spark for Mac is very close to being ready for beta testing (should be out before the end of the year).



    === EXTREMELY GOOD:



    Readdle's Spark: https://sparkmailapp.com

    + Overall the best email client. It just works. Perfectly. All the time. I've used it for months.

    + Free. Will have paid addons later, but the core will always be free.

    + Beautiful GUI.

    + Extremely stable.

    + Massive development team (over 100 people).

    + All of the advanced features you expect from an email client, and they are implemented EXTREMELY well. Snoozing. Quick Replies. Undo Send. Swiping between emails. Swiping to perform actions. Etc.

    + The layout of the application is so logical and intuitive. Much better than EasilyDo. And it's even customizable. https://sparkmailapp.com/widgets and https://sparkmailapp.com/personal for examples of the deep customization.

    + Calendar integration.

    + Integrates with Dropbox and other file services.

    + All of your Spark settings sync via iCloud to all of your iOS (and soon Mac) devices. So you don't need to set things up over and over again.

    + You can easily drag to select multiple emails and move/archive/delete them all at once.

    + You can swipe between emails. Very intuitive and fast.

    + You can customize the email viewer toolbar to have your most used actions easily available.

    + Very, very fast search (almost but not completely as fast as EasilyDo Mail, which was written with fast search in mind).

    + Automatically categorizes emails as either Notifications (important automated letters), Newsletters (automated junk), and Personal (real people). And it groups your inbox into those 3 categories, so that you can easily see a glance of new personal emails, new newsletters, etc.

    + Advanced search. You can say things like "@booking.com OR @airline.com" to search by more than one thing. You can search for documents with attachments from the last week, and so on. There is a natural language search engine: https://sparkmailapp.com/search and https://helpspot.readdle.com/spark/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=643

    + Lets you save searches as “Smart Folders” (which isn't possible in EasilyDo) so that you can have your own custom-made, auto-sorted email folders. For example, you could make a folder called "Flights" and save a search to it which looks for all emails from all airline booking and hotel sites you use, which means that it automatically groups all emails matching the search into a "virtual" folder no matter which folder those emails actually exist in. With that feature, you can easily create your own Flight "assistant", Hotel Booking "assistant", etc. With this Spark "Smart Folders" feature, you've basically got "EasilyDo's" email categorization feature totally replicated, and you have full control over what ends up in what smart folder.

    + Strong funding (think 100's of millions of dollars). Readdle are extremely successful iOS developers with tens of millions of sales sales across dozens of applications for over half a decade. This means they're even better funded than EasilyDo (who seem to live mostly on a few million dollars in seed/investment money).

    + Very fast development of the iOS app; about 1-2 updates per month since the launch in May of 2015, and they were very fast to introduce iOS 10 support.

    + Their Mac client is finally getting close to beta-ready, after a year of teasing us. They've now been teasing with screenshots and tweets since Halloween of 2016. Their desktop client will bring the iOS Spark features to the desktop and challenge all of Airmail’s most important features - for free.

    + Is able to only notify you about IMPORTANT emails, if you turn the "Smart Notifications" feature on. It does this by detecting what emails are automatic, generic newsletters, and ignoring those. This means that it only alerts for Notification/Personal email. This is a HUGE feature and I love not being annoyed 20 times a day by notifications saying I've got random newsletter emails. (This isn't possible in EasilyDo).

    +/- To provide the "push notifications" about new emails, they have to store your email password (just like EasilyDo does) to let their servers check your email periodically to tell your device when there are new emails. The difference between EasilyDo and Readdle is as follows: EasilyDo has paid a team responsible for the database systems of major banks, to set up their servers and ensure that there are strict access protocols and "airlocks" to limit any damage. Readdle, on the other hand, uses Amazon's AWS (https://readdle.com/blog/2015/06/how-we-handle-your-account-information-in-spark/) servers for hosting, which means that they get very hack-proof servers (since Amazon manages the security). But AWS isn't bulletproof. Readdle have never had a breach, but I can say for a fact that their "let's set up a database application on Amazon's AWS" isn't in the same league as EasilyDo's "let's hire banking security experts to set up an extremely secure and compartmentalized system where any illegal breaches are logged and easy to detect and will do as little damage as possible". That being said, Readdle's AWS system is secure enough for me. The edge here goes to EasilyDo, though.

    - They have promised automatic “AI sorting/grouping” of emails forever (the GUI has said "Coming soon" for those features since early 2015 when the Spark app came out). This feature will automatically group emails into AI folders like "Flights", etc... and I am sure it will be good when it comes out, since it's quite easy to code something that recognizes emails from various popular airlines, stores, etc, and sorts those emails and extracts their details to display them at a glance. I am sure they will pull it off one day when they've got time for it (after they're done perfecting the core experience and getting the Mac client out too). And their AI solution will definitely be entirely client-side and very private. In October of 2016 they answered a guy on Twitter by saying "we will get to it later...", which confirms that they are working on perfecting the iOS core AND making the iPad port (which is finished) AND finishing the Mac port (which will soon go into public beta) FIRST, and THEN after all the crazy-intense porting efforts are done they will have time to add content AI cards: https://twitter.com/david_ardley/status/782137232757063680

    + Spark is based in Ukraine and already has perfect support for the English and Russian languages (in newsletter classifications etc), and when it finally gets support for flights and bookings and stores it will definitely fully support Ukrainian/Russian and European sites, along with all major American sites. So that's an advantage of this World/Europe-focused company (Spark) vs a totally America-focused Californian one (EasilyDo).

    - The speed of the application FEELS a TINY bit sluggish due to the intentionally slow sliding animations whenever you switch to a different folder. They could speed up those animations a lot and make the application feel very fast, because I can see that the content has already loaded in the pane, and that it's just the sliding animation that is too slow.

    - Tapping a notification to open the app and view a new email takes 2-3 seconds or so, just like most other email apps. EasilyDo is the only one that beats its speed at opening emails from notifications. But who really cares about shaving a second from that? I don't know. It doesn't bother me at all.



    EasilyDo's Email/Mail (aka "the one with the awful company name"): http://www.easilydomail.com

    + Free. May have paid addons later, but the core will always be free.

    + The app is extremely fast. Search is instant. Viewing emails is instant. Tapping notifications to view new emails is the fastest of all email clients.

    + Coming to Mac someday. It is on their roadmap. The Mac app will be free as well. (https://twitter.com/search?f=tweets&vertical=default&q=easilydo mac&src=typd)

    + Extremely strong funding. They’ve got millions of dollars from investors and have built a large team and strong AI technologies over many years.

    + Best-in-class AI. It is more advanced than Google Inbox, and works on any email provider. They built their “Sift” AI product as their main product, so AI is at the CORE of their company.

    + They have said that they will keep adding more and more AI categories to the app over time.

    + Huge development team (30 people). It only took them a year to build EasilyDo Mail from scratch. And then 5 months later they released an iPad version.

    + Extremely fast development. The large team ensures fast iOS updates, and the Mac version won’t take long after they get started on it (since most of the code is shared with the iOS version).

    + Has modern features like snoozing. And a “Send later” feature is on their roadmap.

    + They are an AI company giving away the email app for free to advertise their licensable AI engine to other companies.

    + Email newsletter subscriptions are grouped into a “subscriptions” AI assistant category, where you can view all emails from a certain sender, favorite certain senders, or unsubscribe from certain senders with a single tap.

    + Somewhat privacy-conscious: Emails are fetched directly by your device (instead of being fetched/stored in their cloud). Outgoing emails are sent directly by your device (not via their cloud). The AI/content recognition is done locally on the device (not via the cloud). It only uses the cloud where it is absolutely NECESSARY.

    +/- The main thing it uses their cloud for are new-email push notifications (so they DO have your email username and password in their servers). And they even do notifications for your IMAP accounts (when the app is closed), which means that they do maintain a connection to your IMAP email account on your behalf and check for new emails for you, and then send a push if they find any. But they promise that their server doesn’t fetch any emails; it only monitors for new ones to tell you about them. However, I discovered that they actually do look briefly at the email to include a one-line text summary of the message body in the push notification (but maybe that summary is created by the app on the device itself, which is possible).

    + Their cloud is also used for enriching data that the AI assistant found, such as doing package delivery tracking of a parcel number it found in a shopping email. Their server will keep track of your package number and send you push notifications automatically that give you the delivery progress.

    + Their server is extremely secure. It was configured and hardened by the same team that created the servers for several US banks. I trust that setup a bit more than Spark's (which also uses a cloud server to check for new emails but relies on Amazon). Only a few people on their team have access to it, and every database query is logged (so that they can see who did it and why). And their funding and huge team ensures that they really do security properly.

    +/- Very clean GUI, but it looks completely white and very bland. Definitely not inspiring.

    +/- They are completely America-centric. This is a good or a bad thing depending on where you live. Their app and AI only supports English, and mostly supports American airlines/hotels/package tracking/etc. (See "supported sites" here for their "EasilyDo" personal assistant product: https://www.easilydo.com/faq#easilydo-ios#email-connection-faq). Their engine supports a few aggregate booking sites that also cover Europe, but they don't care about purely European booking sites, airlines, etc. So for Europeans who never visit America, their AI is pretty much totally useless. And when you don't have their AI features, what you're left with is a basic, mediocre email client.

    - The AI is overhyped. It auto-categorizes certain emails, but only from supported senders/companies, and it gives you a little bit of "at a glance" information for those emails. But it's nothing you couldn't find by just opening an email that came from your freaking hotel booking site (which you've saved in your typical "My Vacation" folder), for instance. So I would NOT get this app JUST for the AI. It isn't very useful even for Americans. How many trips do you do? How many packages do you order? All I'm saying is do NOT choose this app "just for its AI", because it isn't very helpful at all in real usage.

    - Very bad privacy policy. They have the right to read all of your emails. They say that they don't do it, and that it's just in the privacy policy to allow them to add AI features if necessary. I believe that, but it's still pretty iffy.

    - It is “early days” for this email client. It came out on April 27th, 2016 after a year of development, and they’ve focused on the core features first. So there are a lot of extra features they’re missing, and some bugs (mainly with IMAP servers). Features and fixes are all on their development roadmap, though, and they are adding new things rapidly since they have a huge development team, so I have a lot of faith in this app. Especially since it’s growing fast thanks to some big endorsements and reviews on major websites.

    - VERY, VERY buggy. I'll post a list of THIRTY bugs/missing features in the next post below, which I found after just an hour of trying to use it. It's currently an unusable app. Literally unusable. No joke.

    - Unintuitive navigation and very flat, glaringly white GUI. It's a chore to navigate around in it, since so much of the navigation involves sluggishly opening the sidebar menu, or opening sub-menus.

    - No calendar integration.

    - No dropbox or similar integration.

    - Lacks basic, logical features. It's almost as if they wanted to throw it together to get it to market fast to use it to advertise their "Sift" AI engine, but that they didn't care about making a great and usable email application since they knew it'd be free and that they wouldn't earn any money from it. That being said, I am sure it will improve over time thanks to the massive team behind it. So it's one to watch out for. It could one day beat Spark. Maybe.



    === THE "IT ISN'T BAD AND I WANT TO LIKE IT BUT SOMETHING IS OFF ABOUT IT" CATEGORY:



    Canary: http://canarymail.io

    + Free.

    + For Mac (public beta) and iOS (closed beta with waiting-queue).

    + Much faster and a more compact GUI than Airmail.

    + Entirely local (nothing in the cloud, although that does mean no push notifications when emails come in while the app is closed, neither on macOS nor on iOS). Locally encrypted database. Literally nothing is in the cloud. This app will never support push, because the developers are strongly against cloud servers.

    + Has the features we expect, like snoozing emails, unified inbox, etc.

    + Very good avatar support; it downloads small images that represent the various senders and websites, and that makes it very easy to see who all your messages are from.

    + Quite pretty. Especially if you go to the Window menu and switch the appearance to Dark.

    - Small company of two brothers……… doesn’t inspire confidence. Sorry guys.

    - Uses almost twice as much ram on macOS as Apple’s Mail.app.

    - Will never have the level of features and polish possible with a huge team (AI, etc).

    - I tried the macOS version and there’s something that feels very “off” about the whole GUI and the polish. Graphical glitches are all over the place (sidebar transparency going partly opaque in certain areas, glitched “dirty” corrupt graphics under certain avatar icons, etc).

    - Slow and very sluggish at opening messages and displaying their contents (about twice as long as Apple Mail.app).

    - Overall, it still feels like a homemade beta application, and I uninstalled it within an hour. But it might be really great in the future after the brothers keep developing it. It’s already miles above Airmail, Polymail etc in stability. And it’s nice that they are focusing so hard on privacy. But this is not for me…



    === AWFUL:



    Airmail: http://airmailapp.com

    + For Mac and iOS.

    + OmniFocus integration, along with lots of other todo and package tracking apps.


    + Beautiful.

    +/- Well funded due to being expensive.


    - EXPENSIVE.

    - No demo/trial. At all.


    - No AI sorting.

    - Known for being EXTREMELY buggy. ALWAYS. “Airmail: I tried it once and hated it”

    - Stores data online. They have your email account’s login/password info. That is how things like “Send Later” works.

    - “Send Later” only works on Gmail and Exchange accounts. Not on IMAP.

    - Creates “Airmail” folders on your accounts instead of letting you pick what folders to use for snooze etc. And they stubbornly refuse all requests to disable/re-assign those folders. So I hope you like living with an "Airmail" folder on your mail account forever.

    - Incompetent programmers. The latest version causes extreme amounts of disk reads/writes - up to 400 gigabytes per day written to disk! One guy got 22 gb written in 10 hours. Another one had written 66 GB in a few hours. Another guy got 352 GB written when importing a 1.2 gigabyte email account. The developers don't even acknowledge it except to say it may be a bug with the "new search indexing", but holy balls this is totally incompetent. FOUR HUNDRED GIGABYTES WRITTEN PER DAY is an INSANE BUG. https://airmail.tenderapp.com/help/.../637-dangerous-amount-of-io-operations-on-ssd

    - Rude developers that refuse to listen to their users and ignore popular threads/suggestions for months and years. Look at their suggestions forum. They are total douches and they are known for deleting critical support forum threads.

    - Extremely broken search. It doesn’t find all messages, due to a broken search index. This is one of the things that even the fans complain about constantly.

    - The support guys hate you. Forget about getting support answers or bug fixes.

    - Very slow and buggy. Crashes. One person said Airmail took him 10 hours to see new emails that already showed up in other clients.

    - Has a few cult-like fans. But they're rare. Its users are very fed up with this app. Twitter, their support forums, general internet threads, Reddit, all bash this app for the unbelievably buggy garbage it is.


    - In short: DO NOT BELIEVE THE HYPE that “just because they are a big company and sell a famous email app, it HAS to be good”. Their users are leaving in droves and all are fed up with their constant bugs (for every fix there are 5 new bugs) and awful attitude towards customers.



    Polymail: https://polymail.io

    + Free.

    + For Mac and iOS.

    - No AI sorting.

    - Known for being very buggy. Not as extreme as Airmail but still very, VERY bad.

    - Constantly needs slow resyncs to find emails. The biggest bug people are talking about is that the “syncing (pulling down what is in the email account on the server)” is so slow that you don’t see new emails. So it'll say “Congrats, you have achieved inbox zero” but actually it just hasn't seen all of your new emails. Typical reviews: "Polymail gave me rendering and sync errors on a daily basis”, “I really want to like polymail but it's simply failing a lot. Emails not getting sent, server errors, glacial gmail sync…”. People say it takes minutes to hours for emails to show up in it, and users are taunting the developers whenever they post their (frequent) "apologies for the current disruption in our email syncing service" tweets, with a typical reply being "your email syncing service is CURRENTLY disrupted? when is it ever NOT disrupted?".

    - Requires you to create an account with Polymail to use the app. All email is synced via their server which is why it is so damn slow to retrieve new emails.

    - Privacy nightmare. All of your emails go through their server.

    - BUGGY IMAP SUPPORT.

    - Does not import emails older than 2 weeks, so you won't see old emails in your folders (old emails can only be found via its search).



    Unibox: https://www.uniboxapp.com

    + Sorts all emails by sender. Unique.

    + For Mac and iOS.

    - EXPENSIVE.

    - No AI sorting.

    - Organizing messages ONLY by person is very confusing. It'd be a nice extra for a normal email client, but this one refuses to sort messages any other way, so you can't visually look for a subject of an email etc...

    - Extremely basic client. Very bad.


    Postbox: https://www.postbox-inc.com

    + Extremely powerful.

    - EXPENSIVE.

    - No AI sorting.

    - Only on Mac. Will never come to iOS since it is built on Thunderbird.

    - Built on the Thunderbird engine, basically a reskin, and only has a few Thunderbird addons that work.


    CloudMagic/Newton: https://cloudmagic.com/k/newton

    + Its fans swear by it. Almost seems like a cult.

    - No AI sorting.

    - MOST EXPENSIVE CLIENT OF ALL TIME. Costs $50 a year as a SUBSCRIPTION for a damn EMAIL CLIENT. Are they NUTS?! NEVER!



    === BEYOND TERRIBLE:



    All apps that didn't even get mentioned in this list at all. Because all other mail apps are not even worth looking at. Buggy (MailPilot), abandonware (MailPilot), limited, and/or only on one platform and never coming to Mac (AOL's Alto Mail and Microsoft's Outlook for iOS are like that), etc. Trust me, I've spent days looking at them ALL and discarded everything that ISN'T on this list, because they're either known for being terrible, or because they will never come to Mac.














    ----------------------------------------------------

    Thirty (30) EasilyDo Email client flaws!

    To complete the review, this was an email sent to EasilyDo's team. It outlines 30 bugs/shortcomings found when trying their application. I do not recommend using it until at least the most severe bugs are fixed.

    Spark is leagues above EasilyDo Email as an email client. The AI features in EasilyDo could put it over the edge in the future if EasilyDo gets their act together. But for now, EasilyDo is a mediocre email client with a good but barely useful AI engine. I know that this email client is meant to be a free tech demo for their AI engine, but if they can bring the "email client" part up to a high standard, then their AI would be a killer bonus feature. For now, you should all seriously choose Spark instead. There's no competition at all. Spark smashes EasilyDo right in the DoodleDo.

    ------

    Hi,


    I’m loving the way EasilyDo Mail lets you see newsletters grouped by Subscription, and I am really loving the speed of this app. But apart from the speed and the AI engine, it is faaaar behind other iOS email clients. There are also lots of badly broken IMAP bugs. I’ve put together a list of 30 points of things that are holding it back.


    * [Bug/Snoozing/IMAP] When you snooze an email on Gmail, it properly goes to the “Snoozed” folder. But if you snooze an email on IMAP, it only APPEARS to have moved to the “Snoozed” folder but it actually stays in the Inbox on the server (and is seen there by other email clients). BAD.



    * [Bug/Snoozing/IMAP] Snoozing an email twice (on IMAP) makes it impossible to “Cancel Snooze”.

    This bug doesn’t happen on Gmail.

    It happens on IMAP, and works as follow:

    - Select an email from the inbox and snooze it. It’ll appear in the virtual “Snoozed” folder.

    - Go to the “Snoozed” folder and open the email again, and select “Snooze”, and set a different time.

    - Now select the email again from the “Snoozed” folder, and select “Snooze”, and select “Cancel Snooze”. It won’t work. The email will stay in the Snoozed folder.


    On IMAP, “Cancel Snooze” only works if you do it after the first snooze. The second one seems to rewrite the message’s metadata so that it thinks that it lives in/came from the Snoozed folder, which is probably why canceling doesn’t work?



    * [Bug/IMAP] Trash folder isn’t mapped properly. And cannot delete emails on IMAP because of that.

    My IMAP trash folder is called “Trash” (a very standard name). But I see it as “All Mail > Trash”, and I see a separate Trash folder.

    If I try to delete a message in EasilyDo Mail on my IMAP account, it APPEARS to move to the “Trash” folder (the app’s own top-level one), but it doesn’t actually move on the server, and a few seconds later the app will see it back in the Inbox folder again.

    This is TERRIBLE. It means you can’t delete emails if you’re on IMAP. And it is caused by your current refusal to let people manually choose what folders to use for Trash, Drafts, etc, like ALL OTHER email clients do. ;-)



    * [Bug/Very Important] Related to all of the above: Every email account MUST have an Advanced Settings area, with an option for “Folder Assignment”. It should try to automatically map by default after the first connection attempt, but then let the user edit the assignments after that. So that you can choose to map “Trash” to “Trash”, “Snoozed” to “Snoozed”, etc. This is especially important if your folders from your email provider are hardcoded in a non-English language. Folder assignment is a HUGE feature that is in all other clients, even the most basic ones, and I can’t believe you’re lacking right now.



    * [Feature/GUI] Disabling “Unsubscribe” button.

    I almost never want to unsubscribe, and this button is terrible and easy to accidentally hit.

    If disabling the Unsubscribe button, the feature should instead show up in the “triple-dot” menu in the top right.



    * [Feature/Safety] Confirm “Unsubscribe”.

    Unsubscribing is a dangerous feature. It needs to ask for confirmation. To prevent accidental taps leading to accidentally unsubscribing before you’ve even had a chance to notice it and press the 3-second “Undo Unsubscribe” timer button.



    * [Feature/GUI] Removing newsletters from the “Subscriptions: Unsubscribed” area.

    I tried unsubscribing something to check the feature. Then I went back to their site to subscribe again. But now I forever see myself in the app as “Unsubscribed” from that newsletter.

    There needs to be a way to swipe to reveal a “Delete” button to get rid of it and make EasilyDo Mail forget everything it knows about that newsletter sender. So that it can discover again that it’s subscribed.



    * [Bug/Inconsistency] Don’t unsubscribe via sending an email, if you can’t send it from the exact To-address!

    The Unsubscribe feature sends out an email saying “Please unsubscribe this account from your mailing list.”, but I use multiple incoming email aliases and forward multiple addresses to a single address, etc, so the outgoing address used to send that email is WRONG.

    Example: foo+bar@example.com received an email, and the “Please unsubscribe this account” email is sent out as “xyz@example.com”.



    * [Feature/GUI/Annoyance] A way to resubscribe after the app has unsubscribed you. May not be possible.



    * [Feature/GUI/Navigation] Swiping right/left on an email to go to the next/previous email in that folder (see how Spark does it).



    * [Feature/GUI/Selection] Swiping to select multiple emails at once.

    When you press the Edit button in the top right of a folder, you get little orbs to mark multiple emails. Please let us tap and swipe up/down on an orb and slide our finger across multiple emails at once, to mark multiple emails with one swipe. It would be so much slicker.



    * [Feature/Search] Ability to search with multiple operators such as “subject:, to:, from:”, etc.



    * [Feature/Search] Ability to limit the search to certain Email accounts in a multi-account setup.

    Spark solves this by showing an “All Accounts” dropdown menu above your search results, and you can tap it to change it to a specific account.



    * [Feature/Search] Saving searches as “Smart Folders”, with the ability to have multiple criteria, such as “From ends with: @audiodeluxe.com or @soundiron.com, and Account is: example@gmail.com”.



    * [Feature/Security] Advanced Settings for Email: Ability to uncheck “Load remote content in messages” (just like Apple’s Mail app). This ensures that no images are loaded at all, and is both safer and saves mobile data. It then places a little button at the top of a message, saying “Load Remote Content” which you can press to see the images.



    * [Feature/GUI] Automatic email classification into “Notifications” (think alerts like “Someone just signed in to your Google account”), “Newsletters” and “Personal” (real people). And then being able to disable/enable push notifications for each type of email.

    The Spark email app does an incredible job of this. It uses bayesian learning on the subject/sending address to guess what type of email it is. If it’s wrong, the user can tap the email and change its classification to tell the app how to treat that type of email.

    Spark then shows a little icon next to every email in every folder, which makes it much easier to scroll through the folders. You can see, at a glance, what emails are newsletters, personal, notifications, etc.

    And best of all, thanks to this feature, Spark lets you turn off notifications for automated newsletters. (See next point)



    * [Feature/Alerts/Annoyance] Ability to avoid push/"new email" notifications for automated newsletters.

    The “Spark” mail app has this feature. It detects emails as newsletters (based on from-address patterns such as news@, based on subject, etc), and lets you ignore those so that you get peace of mind instead of five billion "new email" notifications a day. And if emails are misclassified, it lets you tap them and change their classification so that it learns what type of message it is for the future.



    * [Feature/GUI] More Snooze options.

    Currently it only has a hardcoded “later today (6 PM)”, “tomorrow (9 AM)”, and “next week (monday at 9 AM)”.

    It needs options for “15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, etc”. Perhaps in the “Set date and time” dialog it could have “15 minutes” etc presets in addition to the date and time slider.

    Look at Spark: “Later Today = +3 hours (can be set to different amounts of hours)”, This Evening, Tomorrow, Tomorrow Eve, Weekend, Next Week, In a Month, etc… And you can customize all of them.



    * [Feature/GUI] Quick-access orb in the lower right.

    Currently, the orb just creates a new email. What a waste of potential. Please let us customize it to make it open up a circular menu (just like Spark), where we can add folders/assistance/etc, so that we can just tap that orb and choose: “New Email” or “Go to Packages Assistant” or “Go to Family folder on Personal Email Account", etc.

    It is much faster than opening the sidebar and repeatedly scrolling to find a frequent location.



    * [Feature/Filtering and Rules] Ability to take actions on messages based on rules.

    Here’s an example from Airmail: http://support.airmailapp.com/post/97137348948/creating-rules

    Rules make it possible to automatically Move, Copy, Label, Trash or Archive new, incoming messages based on criteria (such as keywords, senders, subjects).



    * [Feature/GUI/Customization and Personalization] Setting the GUI colors.

    Titlebar color and text color.
    Hamburger menu/left sidebar background color and text color.

    Look at the Spark email client. It’s much more beautiful to be able to have some contrast, such as a dark menu bar/sidebar, with a light message pane/message list.

    Letting the user choose colors for a few areas of the GUI would be an optimal solution, and would make EasilyDo look less bland.



    * [Feature/Connected Services] Adding file hosting support.

    For example, integration with Dropbox. To select files that exist on Dropbox and attach links to them in your emails. As well as automatically uploading files to Dropbox when you attach them to your email.

    Most other big email clients on iOS have this feature, so I assume it’s in the pipeline already.



    * [Feature/Calendar Integration] Being able to select timeslots from the iOS calendar and sending them as meeting proposals in emails.

    So if someone asks if you can schedule a meeting, you tap Calendar, slide your finger across some 30-minute/1-hour timeslots, and it adds a list of those timeslots in your email.



    * [Feature/Annoyance] Silencing specific senders (getting no more notifications about their incoming emails).

    With this feature, you would tap on an email and select “Disable Notifications For Sender” and it would add their email address to a list (viewable in the app preferences) of silenced senders. Whenever you get an email from that address, it ignores it and doesn’t annoy you with a notification. That way you can add grandma’s thrice-daily “fwd:fwd:fwd:fwd: cats!!” sender to silent. Or an annoying newsletter (while still keeping general newsletter notifications enabled).



    * [Feature/GUI] Avatars for senders, to make folders much easier to visually look through while scrolling for a particular email.

    I am not sure how “Canary” for macOS does it, but they’ve got icons for all senders. It seems they grab the website’s favicon/touch-icon file based on the @domain of the sender. And for emails/domains that are associated with Gmail it grabs the avatar associated with the account.



    * [Feature/Convenience] Quick Reply Templates.

    See Spark. They’ve got a feature where a single click sends an email with a specific text template, very useful for sending quick reactions and confirmation emails. You choose an icon + name + text for each template when you set them up, and then you just press Quick Reply and tap the icon for the reply you want to send.



    * [Feature/GUI] Show attachments from all folders.

    Currently, it only shows attachments from emails that are in the Inbox. Why not show attachments from all folders, including archived emails? Spark does it, and it’s a great feature.



    * [Feature/GUI] Add a “Thin Message Viewer Title Bar” mode.

    Look at Spark. The EasilyDo Mail client’s titlebar for each message is 2.5x as tall and steals so much message real estate, leading to unnecessary scrolling.



    * [Feature/GUI] Viewing emails grouped by sender.

    Being able to group emails by sender (not just via the Subscriptions folder). So you could see a conversation with everything with a friend, etc. Look at Unibox: https://www.uniboxapp.com



    * [Feature/Replying] Advanced Email Settings: Enabling "Plus addressing support” per email account.

    In case you missed it, Gmail and thousands of other email providers now provide “plus addressing”.

    So you could have an email address called “studio@gmail.com”, and then sign up to websites as “studio+easilydomail-com@gmail.com” and “studio+mailinglists@gmail.com” etc. This is a great way to fight spam, and to make it easy to automatically sort emails by destination (a very reliable way to see who sent it).

    But let’s say I add “studio@gmail.com” to EasilyDo Mail. If someone emails me at “studio+mailinglists@gmail.com”, and I press “Reply”, it insists on ALWAYS sending the message as “studio@gmail.com”, which is *very* wrong (and also exposes the underlying email address to spam, instead of only exposing the desired plus addressing alias).

    If “Plus addressing support” is enabled on an account, it should do the following whenever you hit Reply:

    - First try to find an EXACT match for the “To" email (such as “studio+mailinglists@gmail.com”) in the user’s Aliases list. That way you would match the exact sender name wanted for that alias. If a match is found, use it. If no matching local email alias was found, proceed with the next check.

    - Next check (if no exact email alias match was found): Look for a “+” sign in the To email address of the message you are replying to. (“studio+mailinglists@gmail.com”).

    - If a “+” sign is found, internally strip that part of the email (so that it’s “studio@gmail.com” internally).

    - Then look again in the user’s “aliases/accounts” to check for THAT email address, and BINGO you found “John Doe <studio@gmail.com>” as an account.

    - Now open the message Reply composer, with the name “John Doe” as the sender name (taken from the account), and use “studio+mailinglists@gmail.com” (taken from the message’s “To” field) as the address to reply using.

    That’s what I mean by “plus addressing support”. For people who use thousands of different plus addressing inboxes, this feature would mean that it’s easy to just hit Reply without having to deal with exposing your internal email address.



    Those are thirty points in a day of attempting to use EasilyDo mail. I have uninstalled it for now. It’s unusable. There are so many severe bugs and missing features. But I am writing this email because I can see that you’re onto something great here… The Sift AI engine is powerful. EasilyDo Mail could become the #1 email client in the world with a bit more work…

    -------
     
  2. komatsu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    #2
    A good email client is one which does not get corrupted iOS and OS X updates.
     
  3. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #3
    My requirements usually preclude me from using any other email client. I need Exchange and generic IMAP support, I need S/MIME or OpenPGP encryption (OS X Mail has a plugin for the latter) and I do not accept any mandated server access, i.e. I am not giving their servers access to my email accounts (most if not all email clients on iOS do this in order to provide push notifications and ‘AI’).
     
  4. SteveJobzniak thread starter macrumors 6502

    SteveJobzniak

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    #4
    The Canary team (consisting of two brothers) are security-nerds and very responsive to feedback, and they will definitely care about things like S/MIME and OpenPGP. I suggest talking to them and also signing up for their IOS beta (they sent the first keys out on Nov 6): http://canarymail.io

    I listed their client as "interesting, has potential" because it is completely encrypted, local, uses no cloud at all, and focuses on having all modern features (like Snooze, Send Later, etc) implemented in a local and secure manner. In fact, locally cached emails on your hard disk are stored encrypted. They really take this security thing seriously.

    Right now, it very much feels like the beta app it is, but I think that within a year of development and polishing it could become a daily driver for a lot of people.
     
  5. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #5
    Thanks for the response. While encouraging, I do not think that Canary is my cup of tea. To be frank, I actually like OS X and iOS Mail. Even though I still miss stuff, I think that switching to such a different email client will not be worth it.
     
  6. SteveJobzniak, Nov 9, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2016

    SteveJobzniak thread starter macrumors 6502

    SteveJobzniak

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    #6
    I love the design of Apple Mail on macOS. The problems I have with it are:

    1. No notifications when the app is closed. That's a minor one and I can live with it.
    2. No gmail notifications on iOS. That's a big one and means I don't know when I get new voicemails (they go to my email).
    3. It doesn't understand Gmail's Drafts system. It treats Gmail as regular IMAP and stores unfinished messages in the Drafts folder, and then tries to delete them the regular IMAP way. But that just removes the "Drafts" label on Gmail and means you still have the draft itself. Case in point: A few days ago I had a 30 message long back and forth conversation with a friend, and my Gmail account contained 70 draft emails as a result.
    4. There is no way to "Snooze" messages. That's a big one. Snoozing means: "Oh damn, I have to pay this bill? Well, I don't get funds until next monday and I don't want to look at this email in my inbox every day until then. I'll press Snooze, choose next monday, and know it will re-appear in my inbox when I have the necessary funds."
    5. Things like the Spark email client GUI are so efficient. I blaze through emails 2-3x faster than I do via the built-in iOS Mail app. On macOS the issue isn't as big, because I like Apple Mail for macOS (if it had better Gmail support and had a way to Snooze, I'd be happy with it).

    Spark does store your passwords to periodically check emails if you want notifications even when the app is closed. However, you can opt out of the server based Push Notifications which makes the app local instead. You will then get a totally local email client and will still get LOCAL (on-device) push notifications when messages come in, as long as the app is always running in the background (and Spark is always in the background on my device and barely uses any battery). Maybe that will do it for you?

    Either way, I suggest waiting until Spark exists for macOS too. The beta should be out before the end of this year. Then the value-proposition will be too good to pass up: A super slick and advanced email client which speeds up your daily email workflow 2-3x and exists on all platforms to give a unified, modern email experience. For free. They'll monetize it via in-app addons later, and they do it that way because they fully respect your privacy. You are not "advertiser data" to them and they never track you. Their income will come from things like buying sets of Artificial Intelligence auto-sorting groups and services like built-in package tracking, flight tracking, etc.

    And like I already mentioned in the review: Spark is based in Europe and its AI will be supporting all of the major European and American websites. Whereas EasilyDo Mail only supports the English language and American websites. So that's another big difference.

    I'm very happy with the current Spark for iOS. And will be even happier when it exists for macOS too. After that, they'll have time to start adding the AI features which will really blow the roof for me.



    This video really helped me get started. 50 Spark tips:


    I will probably be back to update this thread when I am using the Mac beta.
     
  7. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #7
    Gmail has problems with any ’normal’ IMAP client, because they just do not follow the protocol. Same problem with CardDAV and CalDAV for contacts and calendars. Gmail is like the old Internet Explorer, it requires workarounds. You need to select clients that specifically mention Gmail. I can see why that would be a compelling reason to use another client. Google does have its own Gmail app which does support push email (which is ostensibly why they don’t support push elsewhere).

    I think the most compelling reason for a different email client, at least for me, is another workflow.

    iOS apps cannot run in the background persistently. Background app refresh has narrowed the gap, but it just is not there yet. The only way for developers to get around that is by sending dozens of invisible notifications (which is unreliable too and a reason for Apple to deny approval) or push notifications (which require server access). I am also using ProtonMail, which, like Gmail, can properly support push, because they already have access to the server.

    I am open-minded though and will check them out again in a bit.
     
  8. SteveJobzniak thread starter macrumors 6502

    SteveJobzniak

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    #8
    Yeah. And Apple hates Google for stealing iOS (making Android by spying on Apple while being part of the board of directors), so I understand why they refuse to add Google's implementation.

    As far as I know, Google doesn't support IMAP IDLE. Instead, app developers register their servers as a "new email" listener, and as soon as an email arrives, Google's servers push the event to the app developer's servers. The developer server in turn sends out an APN (Apple Push Notification).

    The upsides are that the app doesn't know your email password and doesn't need to watch your email or stay connected to your server. Google tells them when a new email arrives, and they tell you. The downside is that apps need to implement this method, and Apple refuses. Spark is one of the many 3rd party apps that have implemented this Google method and has instant notifications of new emails on my Gmail account.

    I can understand Apple. After all, Google is the enemy.

    Yeah. Frictionless email workflows lead to happiness and Inbox Zero. It is worth using Spark just for that (you can see examples of it in the "50 tips" video). The way it fixes all of the Google issues in Apple Mail is icing on the cake.

    Ah you're right, the background app refresh can be de-prioritized by iOS and run very rarely, which means late checking of emails.

    Since you use ProtonMail and S/MIME and OpenPGP, and don't want your email login to leave the device, then I probably recommend Apple Mail. As you know, it has S/MIME and efficient background checking of emails built into the OS.

    The only reason to switch in your case would be for the workflows. And in that case, I recommend waiting until Spark for Mac is available, to get the full experience across platforms. I can message you privately here when I have tried the Mac client. Hopefully out before the end of the year.

    Unfortunately, Apple is letting Mail stagnate. If they could just rip off Spark, then I'd be back on the stock app. Imagine if Apple supported AI/auto-grouping and fast gestures/swipes and snoozing and "send later" and such things out of the box. I would never have a reason to use a 3rd party client in that case.

    I hope we will see a modern Apple Mail in iOS 11. It's going to happen someday. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
     
  9. SteveJobzniak, Nov 12, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2016

    SteveJobzniak thread starter macrumors 6502

    SteveJobzniak

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    #9
    EasilyDo has responded by forwarding the 30-point letter to the development team. If they really do look into these issues and improve the "email client" part of their AI-based email client, then I will definitely give them another chance in the future. For now, Readdle's Spark (https://sparkmailapp.com) remains the undisputed heavyweight champion.


    [​IMG]
     
  10. SteveJobzniak, Nov 14, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2016

    SteveJobzniak thread starter macrumors 6502

    SteveJobzniak

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    #10
    EasilyDo has now answered some privacy concerns too. Here is their email:
    1. Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo are providers which offer tokenization, and therefore we don't need to store your login credentials for these. For iCloud and IMAP accounts which don't offer tokenized authentication, we need to store these credentials on our servers in order for the Email app to work.
    2. When you receive emails, we look at specific pieces of these messages to provide you with data in the Assistant, namely the domain from which these messages come from. If it's a whitelisted domain (example: FedEx, UPS, Amazon), this information gets parsed by our assistant to provide the necessary AI assistant features.
    3. A Mac app for Email has been a very popular request amongst our users. We can't comment on a product timeline, but we are definitely considering all options and suggestions at the moment. We have a lot of exciting updates in the pipeline. :)
     
  11. rmeulen macrumors member

    rmeulen

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #11
    Spark4Mac beta is out! Looks good, works well and is worth giving it a try. Official launch expected November 30th.
     
  12. SteveJobzniak, Nov 23, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2016

    SteveJobzniak thread starter macrumors 6502

    SteveJobzniak

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    #12
    Yeah, I am a Spark private beta tester since quite a while ago, but I wasn't allowed to talk about it. I'm also a private tester for EasilyDo (but the NDA prevents me from saying more). I'm keeping my eye on both of these clients and submitting feedback to both teams, and will be using the winner. Right now Spark is still the massive leader, by far.

    However, Spark for Mac is still very, very buggy (email disappearance (missing in Spark but visible in other clients) and email deletion bugs (not actually deleting them from the server), to name two very serious issues). I've got 15 currently open bug reports and expect to see more. They're releasing major bugfixes almost every day: https://sparkmailapp.com/changelog. I wouldn't be surprised if they fail to release it on Nov 30th. If they hit that date, the bugs will still be there.

    That being said, Spark for Mac is very beautiful, very fast (as fast as Apple Mail), and is shaping up nicely. I think we have a winner. But EasilyDo are very interested in beating them and will also be making a Mac app in the future, and they have a huge 30-person developer team. So it's still hard to say who the ultimate winner will be.

    My personal setup will be Spark for iOS + macOS as soon as Spark for Mac is less buggy, and from that point I'll be keeping an eye on EasilyDo. But I like Spark's team and trust them. They're no slouches either. Great people from Ukraine!
     
  13. SeaFox macrumors 68020

    SeaFox

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2003
    Location:
    Somewhere Else
    #13
    That rules out Apple Mail right there.
     
  14. nnoble macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    #14
    I'm waiting for Spark for Mac. I agree Airmail is way overhyped but couldn't disagree more about Unibox, for sure I see no justification for labelling it very bad.
     
  15. SteveJobzniak, Nov 24, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2016

    SteveJobzniak thread starter macrumors 6502

    SteveJobzniak

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    #15
    About Unibox: I said "Extremely basic client. Very bad." because it's lacking all the features of modern, next-generation email clients. It's just a super basic bare-minimum email client whose only claim to fame is its unique way of sorting messages by sender instead of subject (which I listed as both a plus and a minus, since it has no other way to sort messages).

    About Spark for Mac: It is advancing nicely and they are releasing tons of bugfix betas daily. But I think they may miss the release target of Nov 30 because there are still major problems. The owner told me they won't release unless they feel confident they have removed the most serious current bugs (leading to loss of emails). He thinks they can fix those bugs in time. We'll see. I have no doubt the bugs will be going away and that it's going to be my main client on the Mac soon, just like it's already my main client on iOS!
     
  16. SteveJobzniak, Nov 28, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2016

    SteveJobzniak thread starter macrumors 6502

    SteveJobzniak

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    #16
    Spark for Mac is progressing. They are still planning to release it on Nov 30th. To be honest, as a software developer myself, I can say that it is not ready for public use. But they've made a promise to people to release it in 2 days, and most people probably won't realize how full of bugs it is. Little issues that they'll just overlook, not realizing that it's the Spark email client's fault.

    At the bug-fix rate they are going at I am going to estimate that it needs 4-8 more weeks of development before I can safely delete Apple Mail and replace it with Spark in my dock.

    And when they release it publicly on Nov 30th they're going to get flooded with even more bug reports which will slow them down. So basically, I'm saying that around January it'll be a stable workhorse.

    I cannot recommend anyone to use it as their main client yet. It's still at a "starting to become mature" beta level. It has serious disappearing email bugs (they go hidden even though other email clients can see them), email deletion bugs (they can become instantly deleted from the server instead of being safely moved to Trash first), and re-appearing deleted emails bugs (you delete something but then it comes back because it wasn't properly deleted server-side by Spark).

    Use Spark's beta/early Nov 30th release if you like your emails becoming a mess. Wait a few more weeks if your email integrity and quality matters to you. Right now, you cannot trust it completely.

    But don't take my word for it. Just look at this Spark for Mac changelog, which is the list of changes in the past two weeks. Does this look like software that was nearly finished and stable a week ago? And do you really think this software will be stable in 2 days? No way. It's going to need 4-8 weeks, because there are still lots of problems. I have 100% faith it will be stable within 2 months. But I also have 100% faith it will not be stable at the launch 2 days from now.

     
  17. Fozzybadfeet macrumors 6502

    Fozzybadfeet

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Location:
    NoVA
    #17
    It seems users have been questioning tomorrow's release date as well..

    I'll definitely will be keeping my eye out for this. Looking for a mail alternative from Apple Mail.
     
  18. Nick11Mac macrumors 6502

    Nick11Mac

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Location:
    Petaluma, CA
    #18
    Spark for Mac sounds promising as an alternative to Apple mail. I'll wait though and hopefully they'll have it relatively stable in a few months or so.
     
  19. Tech198 macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #19
    Jesus what a long post...

    There is no such thing as software working all the time and never have problems.... if there was ther would be no updates needed for anything.
     
  20. Awjvail macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    #20
    Are there any apps that do something similar to Google's Inbox app with the automatic content filtering (ie automatically file things under labels/separate inboxes like "Purchases", "Promotions", "Social", etc.)?

    That's what's keeping me using Google Inbox on iOS but any app-versions of Inbox on MacOS are basically web-wrappers and they really suck.
     
  21. GerritV macrumors 6502a

    GerritV

    Joined:
    May 11, 2012
    #21
    Spark's Smart Inbox divides your incoming mail in personal messages, notifications and newsletters. You can manually change that filtering to "educate" the app.
    Parallel to that, you can unify your Smart Inbox or group incoming mail per account.
     
  22. SteveJobzniak, Nov 30, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016

    SteveJobzniak thread starter macrumors 6502

    SteveJobzniak

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    #22
    To those with a lot of courage:

    Introduction video:


    Why they created Spark (I love the Ukrainian accent):

    https://readdle.com/blog/2016/11/what-does-it-take-to-reinvent-email/

    Suggested email workflow:
    https://readdle.com/blog/2016/11/the-great-email-guide-2017/

    And the link for courageous people:
    https://itunes.apple.com/app/id1176895641?mt=12

    Just remember that it's still beta-quality software (click here to see why). Just today, they released a fix for a crash in the mail composer. That wouldn't happen if it was stable software.

    Anyway, putting this out there so people can try it. You may already love it! :) (Probably not, though, if you pay any attention and notice all the bugs).

    Personally I'm checking the client's fixes every day and will not make the switch until the changelogs stop containing constant major bugfixes. ;)

    By the way, I just tried today's latest Spark version with my Gmail account. I deleted an email from Inbox. Opened my Trash. Saw the deleted email there as expected. Pressed Empty Trash. Saw it vanish. Then I clicked to another folder and then back to Trash. And then I saw the "emptied" email still in the trash, back from the dead! I am telling you guys it's beta software. Trust me or not at your own risk. :p I am not switching to Spark for Mac until January or February, when it should be stable. Your own willingness to put up with bugs may vary.

    You can keep reading their almost daily bugfix logs here:

    https://sparkmailapp.com/changelog

    For those who want to be early Spark adopters, you may want to do what I'm doing and totally ignore the Mac App Store version for now (which is subject to waiting for Apple's slow approvals before every bugfix), and instead install the non-MAS beta where the bugfixes arrive daily:
    https://sparkmailapp.com/beta/download

    The only differences are that the non-MAS version uses a different settings folder, and that it cannot use iCloud sync of your settings. The major upside is the rapid bugfix updates arriving daily. Trust me, you'll want that for this app.

    Anyway, Spark for Mac is slick, beautiful and powerful. I greatly look forward to making this my main email client early next year (or sooner if they fix all the email vanishing/re-appearing issues before that)!
     
  23. Fozzybadfeet macrumors 6502

    Fozzybadfeet

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Location:
    NoVA
    #23
    Well, I installed Spark last night and really like the UI.

    I'll use it for a week or so to see if I notice anything drastic like you mentioned.

    If I do, I may just go back using web-based Gmail.
     
  24. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Michaelgtrusa

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Everywhere And Nowhere
    #24
    I really like it. So proud of the dev team.
     
  25. SteveJobzniak, Dec 1, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016

    SteveJobzniak thread starter macrumors 6502

    SteveJobzniak

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    #25
    This is the list of bugs that constantly annoy me, as of the latest Spark 1.0.0.189 (doesn't include the list of my bug reports that they've already fixed; this is ONLY the list of my reported bugs that still exist in the latest Spark):
    • Empty Trash almost never deletes every email in the trash. They look like they're vanishing, but they are still in the Trash folder next time you look in it. Happens on both IMAP and Gmail. (Update: Fixed in beta 1.0.0.189, but the bugfix requires that you do a FULL settings reset by quitting Spark, deleting "~/Library/Group Containers/group.com.readdle.smartemail" (this is the non-App Store settings folder) and then setting up Spark again from scratch).
    • If you drag an image into the Compose window, Spark will "cache" its contents on a per-file basis. So imagine that you are making an image in a photo editor. You export the image file. Then drag it into Spark in an email. Then you want to change something so you go back to the photo editor and re-export it (overwriting the previous file). Then you drag the updated image file into Spark. Well, Spark will still show the old image contents. Every time. Until you restart Spark.
    • If there's a space after your cursor when writing a Smart Search (such as while editing an old token), it will instantly tokenize. So if it's "<cursor><space>" and you start typing "from @", it will instantly tokenize as "from @" because the space after the text cursor makes Spark think you're at the end of the token.
    • The editor for search tokens is very bad. You double-click them and it turns them back into text, which is very hard to edit accurately. Needs a dedicated editor.
    • Pressing Delete on an email may not always move it to the Trash folder on the actual server. It can remain in Inbox (or whatever it came from) but Spark itself will believe it's been moved to Trash. Other email clients will show that it's still in Inbox. Spark never sent the server any command to move the email to Trash!
    • Email folder contents may not always display what is really on the email server. Messages can be invisible in Spark (especially after the Delete-bug above, which marks messages Invisible in Spark's database even though they're still on the server). It seems that its folder content list syncing isn't working properly. This happened to me after I tried to delete two emails in Spark but they remained in the Inbox folder on the server. But they were hidden from that folder in Spark (and couldn't be seen in any other folders either). I could still see them in Webmail and Apple Mail. Restarting Spark did not fix it. I was able to find them again by going to Search and typing in some details from a missing message. The search made 1 of the emails re-appear in Spark's Inbox. Then I searched for the other one and it re-appeared too. That really didn't give me any confidence in Spark for Mac yet! It was basically aware that the emails existed but had internally marked them "hidden" in its own cache. That means you may never know if Spark is hiding emails from you. Update: I've now seen this "emails becoming hidden" bug countless times.
    • Search is weak, but they're working on improving it. There's no way to do () grouping, and no AND or OR. So you CAN'T create something like a "Travel" smart-folder with a term like “(from @booking.com AND (subject:hotel OR subject:reservation)) OR from @airline.com”. At best you can do "from @booking.com subject:hotel". That's weak. And you also can't do things like "Subject DOES NOT contain" or "Subject ENDS WITH", etc. But they've now added "tokenization" which turns your text into GUI tokens as you type a search, which means that in the future they could add "(", ")", "AND" and "OR" tokens, as well as allowing choices in the token menus like "ENDS WITH", "DOES NOT Contain", etc. So I am sure all of this weak searching will be improved soon.
    • Email folder contents don't always sync with what's on the server. For example, I had an email in my Trash folder. I deleted it via APPLE MAIL. I saw that it was gone via both Apple Mail and Webmail. But Spark could still see it in my trash. Restarting Spark didn't fix anything.
    • Spark doesn't seem to work properly with Gmail accounts where the "Gmail>Settings>Forwarding and POP/IMAP" page ON GOOGLE'S WEBSITE has been set to "Auto-Expunge off" and "Immediately delete the message forever". Those are two non-default settings which Spark doesn't seem to understand. They are needed for certain other email clients so it'd be a shame if Spark doesn't understand this Gmail config.
    • No way to click-drag to re-arrange Smart Search folders, either in the left sidebar or in the Folders preferences. So the more folders you add, the sidebar gets more and more messy and unorganized.
    • No way to clear the list of recent searches.
    • To add a CC or BCC in Spark, you type "cc<space>" or "bcc<space>". Well, if you type "cc<tab>" instead, you screw up the GUI and get dual text cursors, one in the new CC field and one in the Subject field.
    • Clicking multiple times on the Refresh spinner in the top left of the GUI with certain timings sometimes causes it to do a bugged animation where the spinner itself moves in a circle. Seems like a Core Animation bug, applying multiple transforms simultaneously to the spinner.
    • Clicking the titlebar of a message to reveal all details sometimes makes the email display "jump" a little bit and scroll upwards. This used to be much worse but they fixed a lot of it after my previous bug report. It is still there but it is more rare now and the jump is smaller. Still ugly and jarring though.
    • Spark is the only email client I have ever used that doesn't warn you if the SSL certificate for encrypted mail server communication is invalid or has been replaced with a different Certificate Authority. So you can connect to an impersonated server with a man-in-the-middle attack ongoing, and Spark will never warn you. It just accepts any encryption certificate blindly, even invalid ones or ones issued by a new (possibly evil) CA.
    • TERRIBLE rendering of emails with lines that have indentation/spaces/tabs. Leading whitespace is ignored in the displaying of emails. So if you receive an email with code, Spark will render it all hard left-aligned.
    • Spark CANNOT send emails with text indentation. It looks fine in the composer, but when you hit Send it removes all leading whitespaces on each line.
    • Spark's rendering of HTML emails isn't as pretty as Apple Mail. Spark defaults to a Serif font which looks outdated compared to Apple Mail's Sans Serif. The placeholders for images (when "load remote images" is disabled in Spark) look like ugly "missing image" boxes (I suspect they internally just intentionally screw up the image URLs in the rendering, so you get the default "missing image" question marks that a web browser would show). And it doesn't show image placeholder "title" tags like Apple Mail does.
    • Spark's "Don't load remote images" setting doesn't seem to sanitize HTML backgrounds, so remote content may still be loaded (and call home to the email sender's server) if it's an image URL assigned as a background in the email.
    • When you press "Reply" on a message thread, Spark always sends it to the "From" of the message you clicked Reply on. So if you click your own message in a thread, to send a follow-up (while quoting your own latest email below), it will send the new reply to yourself. That's silly. Who would want to email themselves? Apple Mail on the other hand understands this situation, so if you reply to a message you sent to someone, it will set THEM as the target of the new message too.
    • Wishlist: Being able to color the background of messages based on various criteria is an extremely powerful feature of Apple Mail that I can't live without. Hopefully Spark will have it someday.
    And these are just the bugs I know about without even using Spark as my main client. Imagine if I used it for more than 1 minute (to check the latest bugfixes) a day. There is no way I will start using Spark full-time yet. But I greatly look forward to the day that it's finally stable!
     

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