Spark is a great email client, it is fast and reliable, but unfortunately heavily overpriced.
Okay, I admit it, I was very tempted to “switch” from using my native iOS mail client to whatever is better. And Spark seems like a great alternative. It ticks many of the boxes I would like an email client to tick.
But at the same time, I can’t help but wonder why I would invest so much money on a better email client. For the simple reason, that I have done everything in my imaginable power to get rid of emails all together.
I want to treat emails like good old fashioned letters. I get one, I open it whenever I want and will respond with a full, half-way sophisticated, more elaborate reply. If you want a quick answer from me, don’t drop me an email, but simply give me a call or write me a text. That is exactly what these mediums are for.
Messaging apps and services (Slack & friends)
WhatsApp and iMessage are great for quick messages, and there is no reason whatsoever to write me an email if you simply want to know whether or not I am available for coffee this afternoon or to discuss the status of your latest and greatest work results.
I actually introduced Slack as the main messaging client at GANDT Ventures about two years back, and it has been tremendous for our productivity and team communication. Furthermore, most of our clients have joined our shared channels and we have drastically reduced the number of non-important emails.
Spark is a great app, don’t get me wrong. However, I feel that a design overhaul is not going to help much. The use case for more or better email (classification and speedier delivery), is just not there. Email is something we should all try to get rid of. Why try to fix something that is inherently wrong to begin with.
If you do love your emails, have a look at spark. It’s expensive, but great. A welcome alternative to the native iOS mail client and/or Microsoft’s outlook product.
Tempo Email App
Today I came across a really nice, plain email client: Tempo. The MacOS app was made by a small group of danish programmers, and has just come out of beta.
Tempo focuses its full attention on the least amount of distraction when answering emails. It is build up of one single to-do list, where you can save emails to answer for later and adds a twitter-style 140 character quick reply feature; all of which help you focus on the core message and getting things done quickly.
I’ve just played around with the app for a little bit, and there are some obvious flaws (shortcuts are not clear or do not follow the international US/UK standards, when sending off emails the initial mail is archived straight away, making it hard for me to find threads), but the general concept is promising.
I’ll surely keep the app on my Mac for a little while and give it a go in the weeks to come, next to my standard email client.
The end of email
Email isn’t dead, just yet. And there are a couple of interesting tools out there that are starting to make it more bearable. However, I still don’t think anyone should go all-in on email at this point. That boat has sailed and we need to move on to a new way of communication. There is nothing sexy about email and writing “digital letters” to one another needs to become a thing of the past, soon.
I would love to see a tool that allows me to leave quick screen videos, or visual messages with a transcript of whatever I have said. Communication needs to be more personal, I want to use the tonality in my voice, gestures and mimic to get my message across, well.
Our smartphones are a step in the right direction, but too many people hide behind smiley-faces and empty short form messages. Our society needs a more personal touch, we need to learn how to communicate again. Even-though it has been fun to try out text-based messaging for a while, it has it’s limits.
WhatsApp by Facebook, Google and Apple need to step up to the plate
Readdle Spark email and apps like Tempo, do make email better. But they do not address the fundamental problems we face with text-based communication in the first place. I strongly vouch to skip this iterative “optimization” step and move on to the next communication medium directly. Let’s get creative and make better use of the tools we have at our disposal.
There are messaging tools out there that have the potential to make email a thing of the past. WhatsApp and iMessage for one, have a gigantic following in the Western Hemisphere. However, neither of these apps have a great desktop client or business solutions that stick.
Imagine a world in which we can use iMessage or WhatsApp to speak with our doctors, and messages on these platforms can be used as “legal proof.” To a certain extend, that applies already. There have been numerous court rulings that have stated that a WhatsApp message is just as much legally binding, as an email.
Yet, it is up to governments and larger cooperations to start implementing alternative ways of communication to email. Slack and Microsoft Teams, do help with internal communication, but they do not have the reach to target the masses.
I think Facebook, Google and Apple are the only ones who can solve our email problems at this point. Integrated messaging platforms have the potential to wipe out email communication. I just don’t really know what we are waiting for.
Spark , the popular email app from Readdle , has been redesigned on iOS and Android. The interface has always been a bit busy in the mobile app. That’s why the updated app now features a cleaner design and a handful of new features.
Note: The author of this article DOES NOT receive any payment or compensation in any form, from the mentioned brands in this article. These words merely reflect my personal opinion.
Also published on Medium.