Spark Email launches on Android

(Simon B) #1

The popular macOS and iOS email app just launched on Android, just in time for the shutdown of Inbox by Google.

Just installed it, I’ve been using on my laptop for a while so let’s see if it’s equally handy on Android.

The Verge also appear to be testing out another app called Spike and have written a review.

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I keep on wanting to try Spark (iOS), but get put off by a few things.

Reports of it being incredibly slow at times.
A “privacy” issue with how they store your information (a load of threads on this on Reddit)
The fact I don’t really need anything more than the stock iOS Mail app (and the fact you can’t change the default mail app on iOS).

Interested to see what others think of it.

(Rob) #3

Great! Another ‘free’ app to mine all your data. Android is the perfect partner for it :rofl:

(Simon B) #4

You know this app has been on iOS for years, right?

(Rob) #5

I sure do.


My limited understanding on the whole email app thing, is that unless you are using the default iOS mail app, you are giving someone, somewhere access to your data.

I don’t know what the situation is like on Android (is there a default mail app in the same respect?)

It comes down to whether you trust the company (do they have a revenue stream elsewhere?). If they don’t, chances are they are making their money from your data (generalisation).

Personally, I think if you are concerned with the privacy element of it, you probably shouldn’t have social media accounts, or anything else like that.

But I’m not expert in this space!

(Nathan Steer) #7

I guess that probably varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.

On stock Android that’s probably Gmail (the gmail app allows for outlook and several other email providers too). On Samsung it’s Samsung’s own email app.

(Gareth) #8

It used to be the Gmail app on Android worked for Gmail only and manufacturers provided a mail app for POP / IMAP and Exchange accounts.

Now, Gmail supports all of them and most manufacturers are no longer providing or not pre-installing another email app (Samsung included).

Having said that though, you can set any app that can handle emails as your default mail app. Mainly for when tapping email addresses

(Nathan Steer) #9

Samsung does still pre-install their own email app (at least, they did on my S9). I generally install a different email app as soon as I get a new phone though as a matter of habit.

(Gareth) #10

That’s even more odd. I don’t have it on my S9+ and the store shows my device is incompatible (running Pie)

(Ravi) #11

Bit out of date, but talk about an image being worth a 1000 words.


(Michael) #12

I have used this for years on iOS for my personal emails. I use Outlook for my work emails (still with Google Apps) to aid the separation.

Personally, I think Spark’s fantastic, and I fully support what they’re doing. I don’t use all the features they offer, but glad to see that it’s pushing out to Android!

(Nathan Steer) #13

I had a look earlier, and indeed I no longer have it. I definitely had it before the Pie update though and switched to it for a short time after Google announced that Inbox would be shutting down :slight_smile:

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I’ve given Spark another go today (across iOS and MacOS).

Connected an exchange account, iCloud, Outlook and GMail - All very smooth!

(👨‍💻) #15

I’ve tried this out on iOS today and it takes forever for the email to come through as a notification. Is this the experience you had?

I have a Hotmail account which I also access through the outlook app on my device. The emails land in this app without any issues. On spark I have to load the app to retrieve the emails.


For the first few hours it was coming in slower than my mail app.

Once it’d synced, it was coming through at the same speed or faster.

There are some annoying little things that have cropped up (mainly around notifications) on iOS, but I’m not sure if that’s because it’s still settling down (I’ve got a ton of old emails it’s syncing across, and I’ve added 4 accounts to it).

Ironically, the worst offender with Apple Mail was iCloud - It was SO slow to show that I’d read an email, and would often show the red “1” badge for ages afterwards.

I’ve heard good things about Outlook on iOS, but I like to try and use the same app on iOS and MacOS (and Outlook on Mac is woeful).

I also like that Spark integrates with Bear and Things.

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(👨‍💻) #17

The Spark app is well designed and looks nice on iOS. No doubt. I’m just concerned that I have to keep opening it and pulling down the feed to get my emails. Annoying.

I did read some reviews on the app store and some people mentioned that email was slow coming through. Perhaps it’s a bad version on the app store currently, which will get updated.

The iOS outlook app is useful. I just hate the change they made to the logo. Looks terrible.


My issues have always been “syncing” - Seeing notification that shouldn’t be there, or not having notifications when I know there should be one.

Spark isn’t perfect, but I’ll give it some time.

The problem is, I’m so used to the very bland iOS and MacOS mail app, that it’s taking me a while to appreciate the design of Spark.

(Simon B) #19

I’m still upset about Astro to be honest. That was the best email client to come along for a long time, but then Slack bought the company and killed it.


Having used Spark for 4 days, my initial enthusiasm was replaced with frustration as Spark seems to struggle to sync across multiple devices quickly.

If I read an email on my iPhone, it would then show as unread on my iPad until I went into the app and refreshed it (3rd world problems, right?)

I finally gave Outlook on iOS a go (I keep hearing it’s amazing, but ya know… It’s Outlook…).

Pleasantly surprised - It’s not light years away from the Apple mail app in terms of design - But it looks much more polished.

The killer for me, is the fact that it seems to sync mail across multiple devices much quicker than all the others.