Sparrow for iPhone, in spite of its shortcomings, has become my default email client on the iPhone.

I can’t recall the last time I launched Apple’s Mail app as Sparrow for iPhone beats Apple’s stock app offering in terms of user friendliness, sleekness, elegance, ease of use and Gmail accounts handling, among other things.

But Sparrow’s lack of native iPad interface has been ticking me off as the vast majority of my email management happens on my iPad.

Well, the wait will soon be over as the Sparrow developer just teased a new page confirming that Sparrow for iPad is coming…

According to a new teaser page at, the team is working on “something bigger”.

Of course, jailbreak community is also at work to bring native-like iPad support to Sparrow via a handy tweak dubbed SparrowPlus.

I only have two major gripes with Sparrow.

First, due to restrictions on Apple’s end, notifications for incoming email messages are not possible unless the app is running in the background, and only for a short period of time.

The Sparrow team confirmed they’re working with Apple on resolving this issue, hinting that they might charge for this feature in a future update because basically they’re going to have to run notifications through their own servers.

The other issue is an annoyance rather than a biggie: when you compose an email message in a third-party app that brings up the standard email compose sheet, that message gets sent through the stock Mail app.


Because the way iOS defaults are set up, third-party email clients are prohibited from registering themselves as default handlers for email messages.

In other words, unless Apple does a virtual 180-degree turn on its current stance, this will never be a feature of Sparrow, or any other third-party email client for that matter.

Talk to Apple.

  • Plans and Rappels? Did anyone else notice that under Notes and Reminders? (referring to iPad picture)

  • Anonymous

    Does this support exchange, I had a quick look at it just kept going on about gmail. If not what is a good replacement that supports Exchange?

  • christodouluke

    I did “Talk to Apple”.
    I told them they should add an opt-in service for “pro” and “power” users who want more control over the functionality of iOS. Even if it was only a little bit more control. The unrealistic dream is that this pro service would give root access to the devices and encourage programming proficiency. I suppose their “pro” option is always going to be the mac, unless something big changes.