Spark vs Apple Mail on the Mac (back with Apple Mail for now)

After a problem with Spark, I’m back with Apple Mail on the Mac. And until that issue gets settled, I’m using Outlook on my iPhone and iPad.

Please read about my experience.

I’m interested in hearing from people who (1) deal with images in mails and (2) do lots of message filing in their mailbox folder hierarchies, not just in Gmail, but with other accounts as well, about what their favorite Mac, iPhone, and iPad mail clients are.


I agree, Spark’s image handling is terrible. Mailplane works well with images.

Although Mimestream’s image handling isn’t great either, I’ve been using it for a while because I found Spark just too problematic in a couple of important ways.

  • My address is hosted at Gmail, but I want everything to come from and go to (which works through easyDNS’s easyMail service). Spark lets you set a default address, but for certain messages, such as those from mailing lists or BCCs, replies get sent using the Gmail address, not the one I set. This annoyed me to no end, and even now, I’m getting a lot more mail from people who saw my Gmail address when they weren’t supposed to. Plus, some mailing list posts failed because they didn’t come from my subscribed address.

    (Mimestream handles this perfectly—you set a default address and it’s used for everything, end of story.)

  • My preferred style of working is to mark messages I want to come back to as unread. It’s what works for me. Spark supports it just fine, but it’s all too easy to leave a message selected in between sessions, come back, and switch to another message, inadvertently marking the first one as read and having it disappear instantly. I lost a possible TidBITS sponsorship that way, since the message I needed to reply disappeared on me and by the time I’d remembered and found it again a few days later, the window had closed.

    (Mimestream works much better here. Read messages will disappear if you have the filter set to hide them, but it doesn’t hide anything until you move away from a mailbox. So even if you forget to mark something as unread right away, it won’t disappear until you navigate away from the mailbox, rather than when you navigate away from the message.)

My three Gmail accounts are all in private domains as well. But they are the old, free grandfathered-in G Suite accounts. In that case the issue you ran into doesn’t apply I guess, because I’ve never seen that happen.

Interesting about the mark-as-unread issue. I notice that some mail clients take you to the inbox after reading a message (thus leaving markings untouched) while others take you to the next unread message (thus marking them read).

Of course now I’m seeing one of the issues which drove me to Spark to begin with. I just sent an email on the Mac to a client in regular Apple Mail.

I wanted to look it over again, but it doesn’t appear in the Sent email folder for that account. However it does appear in the Sent email folder for that account on my iPhone!

So why not on the Mac?

It does appear as part of the thread though, which I filed in a folder. Weird.

I guess there is no perfect email client.

@doug2, if you select the Sent folder on the account where that email should be showing, and you then right click and select Synchronize, does that change anything? If you leave that Sent folder selected but then from the menu bar choose Mailbox > Rebuild, does that change anything?

I’ve seen issues between my work Gmail and where it appears that is having trouble staying 100% in sync with Google’s bastardized IMAP. iOS Mail appears to be having less trouble, though I have seen that struggle too. I’m never quite sure if these apps are actually to blame or if it’s just that Google is not running real IMAP. I don’t see these issues with my private email which is not Gmail and in fact real IMAP, but then again, I have far less mail coming through there compared to my work Gmail.

I just tried both, but for some reason that sent message still isn’t showing up in that Sent folder. I’ll check again later.

Actually, it wasn’t showing up in Sent even in Gmail via the web. Very weird! Yet the sent message with a timestamp was there as part of the conversation. And the recipients received it. So this particular issue appears to have been a Gmail bug.