Although email is an important component of our daily lives, it can often be difficult to manage and collate countless inbound and outbound messages. Spark is a PC-based application that has streamlined these processes through embracing an intuitive and user-friendly approach. This can be a great package for small business owners and anyone who receives a large number of messages on a daily basis.
Basic Features and Functions
Spark can be primarily classified as an email organiser. As opposed to the user being forced to sift through countless messages, the 'smart' algorithms associated with this app prioritise inbound alerts based off of personalised preferences and levels of importance. This data is broken down into categories of 'notifications', 'newsletters' and 'personal'. As it has the ability to send through push notifications for more important emails, Spark can save a great deal of time during a busy day.
This application utilises what is known as a natural language search. Queries such as a name, a subject or even the first letter of a word will pull up the most relevant results. Different email signatures and personalised calendar invites are two other features available within this standard package.
Spark is an IM client that you can use in organizations such as schools or companies to allow people communicate with each other in a quick, efficient way. Of course, there's the possibility to use one of the big IM programs like Live or Yahoo! Messenger, but Spark is faster and far more secure. It uses the Jabber protocol which can be configured to use either private or public networks, depending on the plug-ins you install on your server.
Spark displays a nicely designed interface that makes it really pleasant to use. I especially like the emoticons sets included in the program, as well as the usage of a color code to distinguish between different statuses (online, away, busy and so on). Spark also has some extra details that are hardly found in LAN clients, such as avatar support, conference rooms, voice chat, spellcheck and even a special tool to capture anything on your screen and send it directly to any contact. What's more, the program includes some other useful tools like a basic note editor and a task list.
Of course, no software app is perfect and neither Spark is. I had some problems when trying to organize my contacts into groups, with groups completely disappearing from my screen (but easily recovered by restarting the program). Also, I feel configuration settings fall too short: I'd like to be able to change the font and color of my text or hide offline contacts, just to mention two missing options.
Spark is an attractive, secure and fast IM client for local network communication, with extra tools that make it a great companion for your daily work at office.
- Empty roster items now show jid instead of blank. Updated avatar size in contact list, also selectable from three choices. GaduGadu, IRC, and SIMPLE transports now supported. Entire status message now displayed with word/line wrapping on tooltip. SIP Phone plugin is now open source. Several bugs fixed