If you need yet another reason to jailbreak your iPhone, here it is: The popular Sparrow for iPhone email client will require a yearly subscription to enable push notifications for incoming messages. The sad news has been officially confirmed by developer Dom Leca and the Sparrow team.

Apple apparently told them they “are not willing to do any exception to the rule” concerning push support in Sparrow. Of course, those with a jailbroken iPhone can simply download Sparrow Push, a handy little tweak that adds this useful feature to the otherwise awesome email client at no additional cost.

Push notifications are coming in a future version of Sparrow for iPhone, which has just been updated with the following new features…

Sparrow for iPhone version 1.2 comes now speaks nine languages (English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Russian and Chinese), supports landscape message composing and provides easier navigation between messages simply by swiping up and down.

When switching from a conversation to another, you’ll see a special separator clearly showing you’re swiping to a new conversation.

Additionally, the app now lets you rename, create or delete all your labels and folders, as seen in a pair of screenshots above.

And here’s landscape composing in action.

The release squashed a few bugs as well, including composer scrolling with some keyboards, draft being displayed having empty cells in all mail and wrong contact being kept in autosuggest when composing.

According to the official blog post, you will have to commit to a yearly subscription to enjoy push notifications for incoming mail messages when this feature gets implemented in one of the future versions of the program:

Unfortunately, Apple has confirmed that they are not willing to do any exception to the rule and that Sparrow will NOT be granted with the privilege.

This means we’ll have to do Push on our side and that it will be integrated as a yearly subscription into Sparrow’s future update.

Push will be available “in future updates”, the team wrote on Twitter.

Sparrow 1.2 for iPhone is available right now from the App Store, costing three bucks a pop.

Sparrow for Mac 1.6 is also “coming soon”, the developer confirmed

I’m aware the team’s hands are tied because of Apple’s strict policies.

Although chances of it happening anytime soon are pretty slim, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that with iOS 6 Apple will finally allow users to chose their default browser or email client.

Would you pay to get push notifications in Sparrow for iPhone?

  • no, i wouldn’t pay for that service.

    • Emre SÜMENGEN


      Btw, what rule? :)))

      • choose one:
        5. Push notifications

        Apps that provide Push Notifications without using the Apple Push Notification (APN) API will be rejected
        Apps that use the APN service without obtaining a Push Application ID from Apple will be rejected
        Apps that send Push Notifications without first obtaining user consent will be rejected
        Apps that send sensitive personal or confidential information using Push Notifications will be rejected
        Apps that use Push Notifications to send unsolicited messages, or for the purpose of phishing or spamming will be rejected
        Apps cannot use Push Notifications to send advertising, promotions, or direct marketing of any kind
        Apps cannot charge users for use of Push Notifications
        Apps that excessively use the network capacity or bandwidth of the APN service or unduly burden a device with Push Notifications will be rejected
        Apps that transmit viruses, files, computer code, or programs that may harm or disrupt the normal operation of the APN service will be rejected

      • Anonymous

        That’s a lot of rules, most make sense mind you. Others seem a bit full-on.

        Interesting to read no. 5.7 – “Apps cannot charge users for use of push notifications” given that’s what the creators of Sparrow intend to do! Or are Apple talking about not charging people on a “per push message” basis?

    • I dont receive enough emails on a daily basis to consider paying for the service, but if you’re jailbroken that’s where Cydia and the Jailbreak Community come into play. There’s two great tweaks out at the moment that enable push.

      Sparrow Push & Sparrow+, each has it’s perks and are routinely updated to work with the latest Sparrow release.

  • Apple is under the delusion that “customers don’t know what they want until we show it to them”
    Umm reality check
    After absinthe was released, in three days 1 million users jailbroke their devices….

    • This is not about Apple for christ’s sake… this is about the development team of Sparrow not letting users get free push.

      Although I kind of agree with you, Apple makes all the things better and makes you realize how good they are.

      • No this is very much about apple. They are denying sparrow native IOS push as the technique to do it involves keeping the app in a semi active state all the time. Apple only allows this for VOIP apps such as Skype. By Limiting what sparrow can do they have to implement some infrastructure their end to add push notifications, this costs money hence the yearly fee.

      • Free push? Do you have any idea how much $ it takes to get a server to do “free” push notifications? It will add yearly with more users. They need to charge a small fee if they are doing it through their servers.

      • Anonymous

        Agreed. The crappy thing is that Apple doesn’t have a public API for allowing mail apps to run intl the background or even to run every x minutes.

      • App Store Guidelines:
        Apps cannot charge users for use of Push Notifications

  • Ali

    what is “the rule” exactly ?????

    • tim

      I’d say they mean, for users not being able to select AppStore apps as their default mail/safari/whatever app

    • App Store Guidelines:
      Apps cannot charge users for use of Push Notifications

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Money money money $$$

  • I would pay if I was able to respond from multiple emails. I have one Gmail account and multipli emails coming to it. When I respond in gmail I am given the option to respond as the email it was sent to. Sparrow not so much

  • Anonymous

    I wouldn’t pay for that.

    I tried Sparrow and the Sparrow tweaks and it may seem like you can replace the Mail.app, it doesn’t. It’s very close, but unless Sparrow behaves exactly like the Mail.app then I’m sticking with the Mail.app.

  • To offer Push Notifications for a charge violates the App Store Review Guidelines:

    “5.7 Apps cannot charge users for use of Push Notifications”

  • Ben

    You might want to blur your personal email address in those pictures by the way…

  • C_C

    Why don’t people just use pushmail? Emails in real time no subscription

  • Lib Welling

    i wish i knew this before cause i don’t wanna pay for a subscription! i already paid for the app!

  • Yep, it’s definitely good to be jailbroken, you guys. Just updated Sparrow+. Not sure what it does for me yet, but it’s good to know that I can.

    But you know what, depending on the subscription price, I’d do right by the DEVs and pay for the subscription when it’s available. Sparrow’s been good to me on my Mac, and on my iPhone, so I’ll do the Christian thing.

    • Mathew Rice

      I think you’re missing the main point of the issue…
      It’s not about paying for Push Notifications, its about the subscription model of the service.
      You have to pay every year to have push notifications from your email in Sparrow and the app cannot replace the important features found with the stock mail app, like native composing of messages from 3rd party apps.
      Users will pay for additional services, but not in subscription form, that’s where things become issue.

  • You see, thats hilarious! I will not pay a single penny for a “Push” feature.
    Sparrow is not a free App. It costs $2.99 and they expect us to pay even more to a service that’s pretty basic for a email service in a mobile phone?
    No, no and no!
    I don’t support piracy so I did buy the App, but I won’t pay for an “Push” service. I’ll continue using the ones provided in Cydia. Yeah – They also costs $2.99 in Cydia, but they are for life!

    • Mathew Rice

      Is it paying for Push Notifications that is your issue or that they are asking for an annual subscription?
      The costs that the Sparrow team must bear for maintaining this type of service cannot be avoided since Apple is not approving the native iOS code that would permit free Push Notifications.
      Would it be so bad to have an IAP (In-App Purchase) of Push Notifications if it was a permanent add-on rather than an annual subscription? I personally wouldn’t mind an add-on fee for a permanent feature that helps the Sparrow team keep the service running. The Sparrow iOS app ain’t expensive to begin with and its utility factor is worth more than its associated costs, no?

      • I would be way more confortable if they charge the price of the App + the “anual subscription” at once. I don’t agree with paying the yearly fee. They should charge a bit more for the App and make it free to use its full-feature services after that.
        Otherwise, as I said, I’ll stick with Sparrow+ from Cydia.

  • Tom

    ITT: Dumb-asses who don’t understand that it’s going to cost Sparrow devs money to maintain a push server.

  • Rajat sharma

    anyways, the push isnt working, i tried sparrow push, sparrow +, but its not working… everytime i have to open the app to see my mails.

  • make price 6.99$ and let be free for jailbreakers 🙂

  • Would prefer jailbreak tweak for push service

  • I can’t landscape on sparrow..so why say it can.

  • Shik@93

    Is Sparrow Push still working?
    I don’t get push notifications…

  • Shik@93

    Is the tweak Sparrow Push still working?