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  1. #1
    jnxyz is offline jnxyz

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    Angry Sellout by Sparrow

    I've just now received the email from Sparrow (what has been the most innovative and easy to use Mac email client) that they have sold out to Google. I hope they got a ton of cash for abandoning what must have been at least a couple of million OSX (and iOS) users. Sure the program still works, but no future updates means its end of life effectively. I mean, was it just a nasty strategic move by Google to remove a significant player from the Mac ecosystem? (I guess Apple should have bought them first...)
    Just wish I could find a proper contact spot to let them know directly.
    Have to admit I have thought about doing as Boing Boing suggest 'How to prepare for Google's acquisition of Sparrow' but seeing as they have at least got Mountain Lion compatibility done, I may survive for 12 months or so...
    Last edited by jnxyz; 21st July 2012 at 08:38 AM.
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  2. #2
    tcimac's Avatar tcimac is offline Tell the truth--there's less to remember.

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    Excuse my ignorance, but why would it now be not a good App??. I was thinking it will hopefully mean that I can use Sparrow on my Galaxy S3 as well as my MBP and my wife's iPhone.
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  3. #3
    Peter Wells's Avatar Peter Wells is offline Podcaster

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    I don't think it's all doom and gloom. I've paid for both the iOS and Mac version, and hope some of the sparrow flair moves to the official GMail iOS app, and maybe to a Mac app.

    That being said, I now use mail.app on Mountain Lion cos Sparrow can't compete with Mail.app's data detectors (which Apple could make system wide) - and Mail.app on iOS, cos Apple don't allow me to change my default mail client, or allow Sparrow to offer push.

    I think if Apple were less restrictive on both counts Sparrow would've been a much more successful alternative, and maybe they would be making enough money to continue independently.

    Marco is being linked to quite a bit with this discussion about the acquisition:

    If you want to keep the software and services around that you enjoy, do what you can to make their businesses successful enough that its more attractive to keep running them than to be hired by a big tech company.
    I did what i could, I bought the app on both Mac and iOS, but it was Apple that didn't give Sparrow a fighting chance on either platform...

    ---------- Post added at 09:58 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:54 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by tcimac View Post
    Excuse my ignorance, but why would it now be not a good App??. I was thinking it will hopefully mean that I can use Sparrow on my Galaxy S3 as well as my MBP and my wife's iPhone.
    It won't be called Sparrow, the Verge have said that the app named "Sparrow" will not get new features.

    Google buys Sparrow, current apps will not get any new features | The Verge

    But, an app called "Gmail" might start to behave more like Sparrow - just like the app "Twitter" started to look like "Tweetie" on all platforms. (Bad example, considering what eventually happened to tweetie... )

  4. #4

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    I'll reserve my final judgement until I've seen and used Mail.app on Mountain Lion, but the two things I liked about Sparrow that I haven't seen elsewhere on the desktop were the clean design and the speed. Mail.app on Snow Leopard (my first OS X) and Lion have been painfully slow accessing Gmail via IMAP (if I wanted painfully slow email, I'd just use Outlook), and the interface lacks the clean lines I enjoy in Sparrow. Maybe my view on desktop email clients for OS X would change if I didn't have to use Windows for work. My personal email is all newsletters and notifications and I have no friends so I'm probably not a typical user anyway .

    I didn't use Sparrow on iOS. Until I can set third party apps as a default, I don't see the point in trying other things (which is why I still use Safari instead of iCab and why I haven't even bothered to download Chrome). I agree that this is where Apple has done the most damage. It's a great policy for Apple but a terrible one for users and I can only hope that one day Apple will open things up just a little bit.

  5. #5

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    I was a big fan of Sparrow for IMAP support on non-Gmail accounts, thought we were close to seeing an iPad version too. For Gmail users, this probably won't be a bad thing as Pete says, the functionality will be rolled up into existing Gmail apps. Sparrow on iOS was great when you used a fetch based approach, but was obviously crippled by lack of push support and the ability to set it as a default mail app. Looks like I'll be eventually jumping back to Maill.app in iOS and will need to have another look into Mail on SL.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by fulltimecasual View Post

    But, an app called "Gmail" might start to behave more like Sparrow - just like the app "Twitter" started to look like "Tweetie" on all platforms. (Bad example, considering what eventually happened to tweetie... )
    There were many of us who hoped that the app called "Kindle" would get the brilliant features of the app called "Stanza" when Amazon bought it. But it didnt, and as of iOS6, Stanza is dead.

    I hope you're right, for those of you who bought/used Sparrow... but the way these large corporations have been behaving lately? Don't be surprised if it just gets buried.

  7. #7

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    Apple didn't stop sparrow from doing push.
    Sparrow chose not to use the same push API that everyone else uses.

    Sparrow wanted the app to run in the background non stop.
    The apple API for push involves using a server to send a notification when there is a new e-mail, which they didn't want to do.

    i'm glad i never bought into the whole sparrow thing.
    Pretty greedy move really.

    It's sad that the mega corps are getting bigger and bigger.
    People complain about it, but when you're instagram or sparrow, you forget how much you love choice and sell yourself off to a monopoly.

  8. #8

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    I like the Sparrow App, and it replaced the default mail app on my iPhone, but disappointed that they are no longer going to provide any more updates.

    I was also waiting for Sparrow for iPad as I liked the interface and wanted a unified mail experience on both my iPad and iPhone. Sadly this not going to happen anymore.

    Maybe Google will come out with an nice mail app, but I personally think it will just be a situation where Sparrow like features are only going to work for gmail, so bummer if you use another mail service other than gmail.
    Last edited by changa; 21st July 2012 at 12:44 PM.
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  9. #9

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    For sparrow to do push, they would have to have stored your account details and then checked for emails on your behalf. I'm glad they didn't considering how many companies are having security issues these days.

  10. #10
    Joey1983's Avatar Joey1983 is offline Save me Jeebus.

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    As a happy Sparrow user it sucks, I can't imagine Google are too interested in maintaining the Mac app.
    But seriously, there's no use pissing and moaning to them about it. If Google came and offered you a huge pile of cash, would you turn it down to keep a few nerds on the Internet happy? The app worked when you bought it and continues to work for the foreseeable future. Your $10 doesn't buy lifetime upgrades...

  11. #11
    bennyling's Avatar bennyling is offline Resident News Monkey, Lover of Chocolate Cake

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joey1983 View Post
    As a happy Sparrow user it sucks, I can't imagine Google are too interested in maintaining the Mac app.
    But seriously, there's no use pissing and moaning to them about it. If Google came and offered you a huge pile of cash, would you turn it down to keep a few nerds on the Internet happy? The app worked when you bought it and continues to work for the foreseeable future. Your $10 doesn't buy lifetime upgrades...
    Yeah, I agree with this: don't get me wrong, I'd probably sellout in a heartbeat too, it's just that Google sucks for killing off a fantastic Mac and iOS email client. I guess it's their cash, so they can do whatever they want, but still...

  12. #12

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    Sparrow to me was always "niche". It was a bit meh for me, admittedly very elegant but meh.

    I never got on board the band wagon because I found the Apple mail app (especially in Lion) to have a broader potential. If they convinced Google to buy them then they'll improve Google *cough* they need it *cough* and good on them for doing so. I can't see them with a run away business success if they stayed independent - they probably got a decent offer and still get to manage the company until they get tired of working, it gets boring and they want to move onto other things OR they now have a big brother with capital to help the build other projects and ideas they might have (which google will benefit from obviously) unless of course... they ran out of ideas.

  13. #13
    Peter Wells's Avatar Peter Wells is offline Podcaster

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    Quote Originally Posted by paronga View Post
    Apple didn't stop sparrow from doing push.
    Sparrow chose not to use the same push API that everyone else uses.

    Sparrow wanted the app to run in the background non stop.
    Quote Originally Posted by Funness View Post
    For sparrow to do push, they would have to have stored your account details and then checked for emails on your behalf. I'm glad they didn't considering how many companies are having security issues these days.
    Well yeah, you're both right, Sparrow chose not to do the massive security risk of hosting your details on their servers for regular push, and instead tried using the VOIP push API (but not always run in the background, that was just the closest push they could find)

    But either way, they'd have to store all your details on a server - which would be pretty crazy - or use a hack Apple wouldnt allow.

    Now the sparrow engineers are working at Google, they can just do push natively.

    ---------- Post added at 10:10 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:05 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Joey1983 View Post
    As a happy Sparrow user it sucks, I can't imagine Google are too interested in maintaining the Mac app.
    Why? When i would push Google Apps to clients, one misperception people always had was " but i dont want to use webmail!" I'd explain that Google apps worked just fine in mail.app, but they never really believed/trusted it. I think it would be great for Google to have a native app, for Mac and windows, that they could sell as part of their Apps push. "It's called Gmail Desktop - its just like Outlook or Mail, only better.." etc.

  14. #14
    Joey1983's Avatar Joey1983 is offline Save me Jeebus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fulltimecasual View Post
    Why? When i would push Google Apps to clients, one misperception people always had was " but i dont want to use webmail!" I'd explain that Google apps worked just fine in mail.app, but they never really believed/trusted it. I think it would be great for Google to have a native app, for Mac and windows, that they could sell as part of their Apps push. "It's called Gmail Desktop - its just like Outlook or Mail, only better.." etc.
    Would be cool, I just don't see Google doing desktop apps. Their whole thing is to get people logged in and doing everything from google.com. Just feels like their priorities would be web and mobile, if your at a computer use the browser.

    Anyone familiar with the mail app on Android? I've never used it, does it need work or are people generally happy with it? Maybe they'll incorporate the Sparrow stuff there and update that awful iOS gmail app.

  15. #15
    Vaempyr's Avatar Vaempyr is offline wordsmith

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    I use both an ISP (Internode) IMAP account and a @me.com account, and Sparrow was superior - for my usage - than the default Mail apps on both iOS and Snow Leopard. Im disappointed because I was hoping for more updates, features etc. for a good third-party mail app.

    Ill keep using the Sparrow apps for now, and re-asses once Ive spent some time with iOS 6 and Mountain Lion.
    "Sleight of hand; twist of Fate"

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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by fulltimecasual View Post
    Why? When i would push Google Apps to clients, one misperception people always had was " but i dont want to use webmail!" I'd explain that Google apps worked just fine in mail.app, but they never really believed/trusted it. I think it would be great for Google to have a native app, for Mac and windows, that they could sell as part of their Apps push. "It's called Gmail Desktop - its just like Outlook or Mail, only better.." etc.
    It would be nice, but I'm not convinced. Sparrow was partly popular because it was so aesthetically pleasing. Part of the Gmail business model is targeted advertising. Where would you put the ads in Sparrow without also flipping the suck bit? I can't see ad-supported desktop email client surviving for long, even if it was Gmail for Desktop (this from someone who used Eudora for years and put up with the ad-supported version, so here's a grain of salt you can take while reading this)

  17. #17
    Vaempyr's Avatar Vaempyr is offline wordsmith

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    Quote Originally Posted by smperris View Post
    It would be nice, but I'm not convinced. Sparrow was partly popular because it was so aesthetically pleasing. Part of the Gmail business model is targeted advertising. Where would you put the ads in Sparrow without also flipping the suck bit? I can't see ad-supported desktop email client surviving for long, even if it was Gmail for Desktop (this from someone who used Eudora for years and put up with the ad-supported version, so here's a grain of salt you can take while reading this)
    I guess you could look at Sparrow Lite for one possibility re ad placement
    "Sleight of hand; twist of Fate"

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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by tcimac View Post
    Excuse my ignorance, but why would it now be not a good App??. I was thinking it will hopefully mean that I can use Sparrow on my Galaxy S3 as well as my MBP and my wife's iPhone.
    Because they're not developing it anymore. It will work but there will be no updates.

  19. #19
    mestevie's Avatar mestevie is offline Nature Boy

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    although I found sparrow visually appealing what I liked about it most was the speed at which it processed gmail, especially loading mail and its tag and archive features. Now that I know its going to be dormant I have stopped using it and have gone back to mail.app. I tried using the Gmail web interface but could not stand it for more than 5 minutes.

    Hoping Mountain Lion will bring some more speed.
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  20. #20
    Peter Wells's Avatar Peter Wells is offline Podcaster

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    Mail in ML is much more stable. I really love this Chrome plugin for making the web interface simple, clean:

    https://chrome.google.com/webstore/d...pdpdafhhepdbek

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