iOS’ stock email app is lacking in the user experience area, and the folks behind Sparrow have successfully capitalized on the default app’s shortcomings.

Unfortunately, while it succeeds with flying colors in a multitude of areas where the Mail app stumbles, it’s still not quite ready for primetime due to a few essential issues.

Check out our full video review inside…

Sparrow was originally an app for the Mac, and I’ve used it ever since it was in beta. Once I switched to Sparrow on the Mac, I haven’t dared look at Apple’s stock mail app the same.

Sparrow is a Gmail client that brings some of Google’s best features to a well put together application; its thoughtfulness and intuitiveness makes it my go to app for email on the desktop.

That same usability is translated to iOS for the most part. Sparrow for the iPhone is built upon swiping navigation, and as a result there’s usually more than one way to accomplish a specific task.

It’s extremely fast, works well with Gmail’s labels, features no-brainer setup, has built in alias support, custom signatures, and threaded message views. In many ways it’s more full-featured than Apple’s stock offering.

Sadly, though, there’s no support for push notifications, you can’t set it up as the default mail client, and the way it handles deleting email and moving specific messages to folders is a bit on the suspect side.

It’s these issues that prevent Sparrow from being a true Mail app replacement. Once these are ironed out — and they inevitably will be — then Sparrow hands-down succeeds the Mail app as being the go to email client of choice for the iPhone.

If you’re interested in giving it a go for yourself, Sparrow can be had for $2.99 on the App Store.

Have you tried out Sparrow? Do you use it on the desktop? What are your thoughts on their iOS offering thus far?

  • I was just about to jailbreak my iPhone again to first try it, but then I heard “Doesn’t have push support”.
    No, thanks then.

    • It’s in the appstore not cydia

    • Siv

      “to first try it” = download a cracked version from Installous?

      • Sina

        Are you going to say “I never used installous to try some apps before buy.” ?
        Then it seems, I’m the only one who’s not VIRGIN in da world !!!

  • has anyone figured out insertion of html signatures yet? I assume the signatures are kept in the .tch file for each account. I pulled it down with database file with iFile. I assume it’s a sqlite db file but .sqlite and .sqlite3 were unrecognized file extensions when trying to open it.

  • I think sparrow is wonderful! My only issue and I may be missing something here but I am not seeing any email attachments. Pictures within a message doe show but I am not seeing pictures or anything sent as attachments.

  • Jacob Samuel

    Nice work Jeff. I said no no to Sparrow as soon as I realized no POP and no iPad version yesterday itself. Now that you have pointed out more issues, its a big NO until they fix them. I am using the Mac version (pro) and it is a so so app. Thanks for the heads up!

  • As for push I fetch manually so this doesn’t bother me

  • This app deleted my entire phone book when I set it up then deleted it. Due to no push nor Notification Center support do not get this till they hammer out the bugs.

  • Anonymous

    Tried it: No POP, no push, no ‘set as default’, no thanks.

  • I can’t type emails in potrait I’m surprised nobody thinks no landscape is an issue.

  • Anonymous

    QUESTION: You mentioned that Sparrow is built on Google’s gmail tech. Does that include the “spyware” that Google is known for?

    I refuse to use Gmail anymore because of Google’s incessant hunger for stealing / reading my information and mail.

  • Anonymous

    Does this have group emailing or does anyone know a email program that does group email ?

    Basically I want to send pics of the kids and just click “family” and have 10 different people get the pics.

  • Anonymous

    I like the interface and design of it but until it get push notifications and landscape mode I’m not going to find it too useful. The other thing which bugs me ( is guilty of the same) is that it only checks the Inbox. I use an IMAP account and have my emails automatically filtered into many separate folders via server-side rules but Sparrow doesn’t check whether there are unread emails in those folders. With so many folders and sub-folders it would be a long, tedious and unproductive exercise to check each individually.

  • I use 4 different email account. Hotmail, yahoo mail, gmail and my cellphone’s carrier mail. As this sparrow doesnot support all of it how can it replace the stock mail app ??
    Sparrow must be updated to pigeon.

  • is this only for g-mail accounts???

  • definitely needed push notifications otherwise waste of use sparrow…ur review is awesome jeff…:)