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Twelve years after its inception, Readdle is finally venturing beyond Apple’s ecosystem with the launch today of its Spark email app for Android. This comes on the heels of Google killing its own popular Inbox email app.
Spark’s Android app — like its iOS and macOS incarnations — includes three key selling points: It is free for individual users, does not serve ads, and offers a host of features aimed at power users. Plus, it supports all major email providers, including Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Apple.
Spark for Android, like the now defunct Inbox app, sorts emails — prioritizing more important messages to help you reach “inbox zero.” It offers options to snooze an email and to schedule when an email should go out. You can also pin emails so that it is easier to find them later and get reminders to follow up on previous conversations. Advanced search functionality lets you use conversational keywords to find things like that PDF file your boss sent last week.
So how exactly does the Ukrainian-headquartered company make money? Readdle offers a paid version of Spark that is aimed at small to medium-sized teams and enterprises. The premium plan enables unlimited team members to collaborate on the draft of an email, and it includes 10GB of storage for each user. Team members also get access to technical support on a priority basis and can access an unlimited number of email delegations, up from the 10 that a team of free users receives. The premium tier comes to $7.99 a month for each member.
Spark’s Android app currently only supports smartphones, though the company is working on a tablet app, Readdle marketing VP Denys Zhadanov told VentureBeat in an email. Some features — such as email templates, the ability to create smart folders, integration with other third-party services, and bullet lists — are currently not available on the Android client, but Zhadanov said the company is working on adding them.
The Android app has been in the works for several months. Though there are only four people dedicated to building Spark for Android, late last year Readdle created a framework to quickly turn Swift programming language into one that supports Android. “Email is a very complicated product, so we’ve spent a lot of time creating this framework,” Zhadanov said. The company has also been testing its Android app with over 1,200 users.
In a conversation with VentureBeat, Zhadanov said Readdle remains committed to keeping Spark free of ads and other tracking, though it may introduce a premium plan for individual users at some point. (It has not done so with its four-year-old app for iOS or Mac to date.)
Readdle has been bootstrapped thus far but is open to raising money from investors down the line, Zhadanov told VentureBeat, adding that there is nothing planned for the immediate future. Readdle’s full suite of seven consumer apps — which includes Scanner Pro, PDF Expert, Calendars 5, and the B2B app Fluix — have been downloaded over 115 million times, Zhadanov said. Spark is used by nearly 1 million active users on iOS and macOS platforms, he said.
Spark’s arrival on Android this week is no coincidence. Zhadanov said the company was aware of Inbox’s demise and hopes to win some of its users. And after that? He said Readdle is looking to bring Spark to Windows.
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