Sparrow 1.3.5 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 002)

It’s the end of the road for the beloved Sparrow email client as Google quietly pulled the free iPhone and Mac download from the App Store and Mac App Store, TechCrunch reported Tuesday.

The Internet giant snapped up the French startup, its apps and technology back in July of 2012, much to the dismay of the Apple community, for a reported $25 million.

Existing users who have downloaded Sparrow to their Mac through the Mac App Store, and have a copy of Sparrow for iOS in desktop iTunes, can continue using the app and should be able to install it on their other devices.

The app’s been fully removed from iTunes servers and is no longer available for re-download through the Purchased tab of the App Store and Mac App Store. The Mac edition is still available directly from Sparrow’s own web site.

Last week, Google pulled its own Helpouts app from the App Store and Play Store. For those unfamiliar with it, Helpouts is a Hangouts-based app where others pay you to get help on a range of topics.

Google brought Sparrow employees aboard the Gmail team, where they were working on new projects, including Google’s recently released Inbox email app that borrows a lot of concepts and gestures from Sparrow.

Specifically, Sparrow product designer Jean-Marc Denis went to work on Inbox.

I was certain this would happen as soon as news dropped that the search giant was buying Sparrow nearly three years ago. Google immediately said “We will continue to make available our existing products, and we will provide support and critical updates to our users.”

Sadly, the app never gained proper iOS 8 support.

As the team was busy with new projects at Google, they stopped developing new features for Sparrow altogether, much to the disappointment of loyal fans like yours truly.

Sparrow was the first email application to popularize the concept of gesture-based email and despite some shortcomings provided the best Gmail experience on both Mac and iOS.

Are you saddened by this turn of events?

Source: TechCrunch