Find a message in MailMate from link saved by Spark (iOS)

I am just getting started with Spark on iOS and would like to continue using MailMate on the Mac. Given this, I am looking for a way to get from a Spark url (e.g. when I move a message into OmniFocus) to a message in MailMate.

(Background: I am reluctantly moving away from Dispatch for mail on my iPhone given the lack of updates and some things that are not meshing with my current workflow and am giving Spark a try.)

My current workaround is to run Spark on the Mac as well and let the links open the messages in Spark. I might eventually move to Spark, but there is a lot I like about MailMate and I would prefer to stay with it.

I have inspected the link spark creates and the URL bears no resemblance to the message: url used by and MailMate. Unless I missed it, the messageID which is needed for MailMate is not visible in the Spark url.

It also looks like there is currently no way to get the messageID of an email message via Spark. AppleScript support is limited to getting the title and the spark link (as far as I can tell).

I am curious how other people handle this. Here are the alternatives I am currently considering:

  • use Spark on Mac (default approach)
  • maybe I don’t need this function as much as I think I do since the full text of the message is included
  • a less direct, klugier automation, to wit:

I could write a Keyboard Maestro macro which pulls the sender’s email address, date, and subject from the message text and then opens MailMate and searches for all emails with that address, date, and subject. I just tried this manually (typing in the email address, year-month-day, and subject line) and the search goes pretty fast. Generally there would be just one (or a few) emails that that match, which is probably good enough. I could even have it open the first email on the list. So in effect I would have a somewhat clunky, slow way to link from the text of an email message saved out from Spark to the actual message in MailMate.

For the few of you still reading who might actually hit this weird use case, I would be curious how you cope and whether this seems at all workable.

by the way, hello everyone! Long time fan of MPU.

George Wyner


Quick progress report:

I realized that given my requirements, Airmail is probably a better fit. I like that I can launch a shortcut and pass in the message details. I built on the shortcuts in this cool post to create shortcuts that post to Drafts and to OmniFocus and convert the airmail link to a standard messages link, which means that I can open the messages in MailMate on my Mac.

I also want to integrate with DEVONthink To Go but could not find any actions in Shortcuts to do the same, but I came up with a Keyboard Maestro macro that can convert the URLs on the Mac side.

And so far I have not needed any of the premium features in Airmail, although I will be looking into them.

Why not just use Apple Mail on iOS? For iOS Apple Mail is a great option right out of the box. And it is also a lot more secure than other apps.

Airmail is one of the worst options right now …

Hi @TheMarty

There is no share sheet available in apple mail on iOS. There are some workarounds for moving things out of mail, like printing the message and then doing various gymnastics or highlighting text and sharing it to reminders. The workflow I am setting up now seems much cleaner and more flexible. I don’t need to highlight text to share a message to omnifocus or drafts.

And when you say it is the worst option right now, are you referring to their switch to a subscription model? It sounds like they did not handle that well and a lot of people are understandably upset about having paid for an app and then being moved to subscription. That said, at the moment I don’t need the premium features.

Are there other issues I should be aware of? So far the app is working really well for me, but I’ve only just started

Mail is sharing only to Reminders … I thought the share functionality is global :slight_smile: They will hopefully add that … I personally just upload important emails to DevonThink and share the link so I have it on iOS apps through DTTG. Email is “archived” and accessible.

Airmail was always kinda buggy without proper support. I no longer use it but current users say that subscription did not change much. The move to subscription was very scammy and the developer can’t be trusted.

I appreciate the warning about Airmail. It would be great to look for an alternative. I guess the main two features I need that were not available in Spark are:

  • integration with drafts
  • url in a format that can be wrangled into a message:// link

Hopefully a future version of the native will include some more integration.

Do you still have the “Send to Workflow” custom action in the Airmail settings? That’s gone from Airmail for me after a recent update, so my prior workflow to convert Airmail links into a few different kind of links (Mail, Postbox, Mailmate) no longer works. I’m doing it all on the Mac side now via Keyboard Maestro- hover over the link, hit a keyboard shortcut, and it opens in Postbox.

Ironically, I’ve recently gone the opposite direction that you went, going back to Dispatch after a long time away from it. Despite the lack of development, I forgot how much I loved that app. My Keyboard Maestro macro works with Dispatch links, too.

I love the concept behind Dispatch, but the app is not being developed anymore:(

Yes, I still have the send to workflow action and I just installed the app. Wonder why you are not seeing it… I see it in two places: enable it in services and then in custom actions.

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Ah, thanks you!!! Evidently an update toggled it off in Services, so when I looked in custom actions it was gone. I have it back now