Readdle, the company behind popular email client Spark, is releasing a major new version of Spark on iOS and macOS. Spark is expanding beyond a personal email client. You can now work on emails with your team.
While some of the features made me think about Front, the company says that it wasn’t the inspiration for this update. Front lets you share inboxes, such as
firstname.lastname@example.org so that the entire HR team can collaborate on inbound emails. With Spark, you can’t share inboxes altogether.
But you can create links and invite people to an email thread. After that, it works pretty much like Google Docs. Multiple people can write and edit emails in real time. You can comment and have a private chat about the email before writing a reply.
Along the launch of those new collaboration features, Readdle is launching a new premium subscription. Existing features remain free forever. You’ll get limited access to the new collaboration features. It works pretty much like Slack’s free plan — comments search history is limited to one month, your team is limited to 5GB of storage, etc.
You’ll be able to pay $6.39 to $7.99 per user per month to unlock everything. Each team member will get 10GB of storage to share files in comments, you will be able to add more collaborators to an email thread, etc.
It’s a software-as-a-service business model, and it’s good to see that Readdle finally plans to make money with Spark. A sustainable business model is essential if you expect support and updates over the coming years.
Finally, Readdle added new features for everyone. There is a new calendar view on macOS. It displays your calendar and you can input new events using natural language, like in Fantastical. And because Spark is an email client, when you write “Lunch with John at 1pm”, it’ll add John’s email address to the calendar invite automatically.
While Readdle says that Front and Spark have nothing in common, it feels like they’re tackling the same issue but starting from two different ends. Spark started as a personal email client and is getting more collaborative. Front started as a collaborative email client and wants to become the only email client you need, including for your personal needs.
Eventually, it’s a win for the end user as it’s hard to find an email client that fits your needs.