Inbox by Gmail users may be on the verge of having at least one more option to choose from when making the switch away from the email client, following a recently spotted Tweet indicating that Spark will soon be on Android. The popular iOS and macOS email management tool responded to users on the social network on a thread related to Inbox to say that it should be arriving right around the time when Google is killing off the service.
Spark effectively acts as an email client for mobile and Mac computers but hasn’t been available on any other platforms prior to the company’s decision to port over to Android. That also means users won’t be able to utilize Spark on Windows or Linux if and when it lands but it should be available on Chrome OS or other platforms via Android app -- and emulation on desktop platforms.
Another dead Google platform
Inbox by Gmail was first launched by Google back in late 2014 in an invite-only beta before rolling out widely in early 2015. It operates similarly to the company’s Gmail offering but goes much further to introduce organization- and productivity-focused features that, at the time of introduction, were completely absent from that other service. The entire purpose, in fact, seemed to center around offering of features on Inbox before porting them to Gmail.
The experimental client quickly became popular among a subset of users but apparently either didn’t gain enough traction to remain in service or was never intended to be a long-term service, to begin with. As a result, Google announced that it would be shuttering Inbox, with an official end date now scheduled for April 2.
Many of the features found in Inbox or added over its lifespan, including the ability to snooze notifications or nudge them back to the top of the pile and smart replies have already made their way over to Gmail.
Notable exceptions to that include several of Inbox's organizational tools such as email bundling, have made their way over to Gmail since the closure of Inbox was announced, users who have become accustomed to Inbox are left stranded. Those features are planned to be added to Gmail at some point but aren’t currently available and there’s no schedule in place for its arrival.
The caveats for using Spark on desktops or laptops outside of Apple's ecosystem will mean that it's not a perfect replacement for some users but it does offer many of the same features as Inbox. That includes smart notifications and the ability to schedule sending emails via a number of email services, in addition to Gmail. Users can set reminders, organize their mail via smart tools, share drafts with a team, utilize smart replies, and more.
Although there’s no exact timeline for the launch of Spark, that all means it should quickly become one of only a handful of email apps that can replace the functionality of Inbox by Gmail.
I'll be launching my Android version around the date of the Inbox shutdown. 😉
— SparkMail (@SparkMailApp) March 19, 2019