Email client Spark becomes collaborative

Email client Spark becomes collaborative

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 [email protected] 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.

Source: Mobile – Techcruch

Following Gmail’s makeover, Outlook rolls out new features focused on business users

Following Gmail’s makeover, Outlook rolls out new features focused on business users

Microsoft announced a series of new features for Outlook across desktop, mobile and web to take a bit of the focus off of Gmail’s massive redesign. Some of the features highlight Outlook’s usefulness in the workplace – like new meeting room suggestion capabilities and RSVP tracking. But others, particularly on mobile, are more innovative – like Quick Reply which turns email replies into chats – or Office Lens, which enhances attached photos.

Office Lens was already available in a standalone mobile app that does things like straighten out photos of paper documents, whiteboards and business cards. But this sort of image correction technology has made its way to other apps, as well – like Microsoft Pix’s camera app, which now lets you scan business cards to find people on LinkedIn.

In Outlook, Office Lens can automatically trim and enhance a photo of a whiteboard, document or photo, then embed it in your message. The feature is arriving first to Android later this month.

Quick Reply, meanwhile, keeps your message in view, but then adds a new reply box at the bottom of the screen. This makes the reply experience feel more like using a chat app. This is also hitting Android this month, and will come to Mac this summer. It’s already live on iOS.

The mobile version of Outlook will also gain a way to flag key contacts (iOS and Android in June); sync draft folders across desktop and mobile (iOS in May. Already live on Windows, Mac and Android); view Office 365 Groups’ events in Outlook and OneNote (Outlook for iOS in June); block email tracking like those from marketers (Android in May): and new features for enterprise customers to protect sensitive data.

Outlook Mail adds a few tweaks like BCC warnings when you’re the blind copy, proxy support, and the ability to view organization information if you’re connected to Azure Active Directory.

Calendar is getting a number of features, including bill pay reminders, suggested event locations and meeting rooms, meeting RSVP tracking and forwarding, and expanded support for multiple time zones for meetings and appointments (so you can set up your travel start in your current zone, and then set up the arrival with the local time at the destination, e.g.).

None of these features, however, are significant upgrades on the scale of the Gmail overhaul, whose focus wasn’t just on business user needs, like Outlook, but on additions that both corporate users and consumers can leverage – like self-destructing messages, snooze buttons, and a handy new sidebar for accessing your calendar, tasks, and notes.

Source: Mobile – Techcruch