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Readdle Extends Spark Functionality With App Integrations

Spark has been on a roll. Just a few weeks ago, Readdle significantly improved search in its popular macOS email client. Today, Spark 1.4 for macOS takes another step further into professional app territory with the addition of several useful integrations with third-party apps, while Spark 1.9 for iOS adds deep PDF Expert support and other functionality.

Readdle has built custom export integrations into its macOS email app that let you send the text of messages or links to the messages to Apple Reminders, Things, 2Do, OmniFocus, Wunderlist, Todoist, Trello, Asana, Evernote, OneNote, and Bear. The interface of each integration is designed to complement the design of the destination app. What can be exported varies depending on the destination app or service. For example, in addition to exporting the message, the Todoist integration lets you pick a due date and assign a project, while Trello lets you pick among all of your boards and lists and attaches a PDF to the Trello card.

I tried exporting messages to Apple Reminders, Todoist, 2Do, OmniFocus, Trello, Evernote, and Bear. With each, you can export the full text of an email message or just a link back to the original message. In either case, the subject of the message becomes the title of the item in the destination app, and a link back to the Spark message is included. One nice touch is that Spark links the original message to the command ‘Open email in Spark,’ which is tidier than the long URLs I get when I add an Airmail link to another app. If you export the full message, the body text is included as an attached note or comment.

Spark for macOS includes 11 third-party integrations.

Spark for macOS includes 11 third-party integrations.

One limitation of Spark’s system is that it exports text only in most cases. Links and images in the body of an email message were not added to the apps I tried except for Evernote and Trello, where those items are preserved in the attached PDF file, but not the body of the Trello card. While I would prefer if images or links were exported too, the inclusion of a link that opens the original email message almost instantly makes that less of an issue than it would otherwise be. That said, exporting messages worked well overall in my testing, except for one long, complex email newsletter I tried to send to Todoist, which returned an error.

For now, the new third-party integrations are included with Spark macOS-only, but Readdle is working to bring them to iOS soon. Meanwhile, Readdle has added tight integration with PDF Expert to Spark for iOS and the option to lock the app behind Touch ID. The PDF Expert functionality lets users quickly open, edit, annotate, and sign PDF attachments in PDF Expert and then just as easily return to Spark with a reply open for editing and the file attached.

It's easy to mark up a PDF you receive with an email message and return the revised document to the sender.

It’s easy to mark up a PDF you receive with an email message and return the revised document to the sender.

Some interesting workflow possibilities will open up when third-party integrations are added to Spark for iOS. For example, you could send a link to an email message to a task manager, retrieve it later from within your task list, open an attached PDF form, fill it out and sign it with PDF Expert, and then use the share sheet to store a copy in the iOS 11 Files app and return a copy to the sender via Spark.

It’s good to see Readdle expanding Spark integrations beyond its apps. The close ties between Spark and other Readdle apps allow the app to pull off some tricks that other email clients can’t, but the reality is that many people use a variety of unrelated apps and services, which is what makes the third-party export integrations added to Spark so valuable. I can’t wait to see these features added to the iOS version too.

Spark 1.4 for macOS is available on the Mac App Store and Spark 1.9 for iOS is available on the App Store.

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