Google quietly removes Sparrow email client from App Store and Mac App Store

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.

Sparrow gets iOS 7 style icon, but no UI refresh

Sparrow, the Google-owned email client for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, has seen very little changes in the features department since the Internet giant acquired the startup in the summer of 2012.

Matter of fact, the search monster has passed on the opportunity to update Sparrow following the September 18 iOS 7 launch with the new visual appearance.

That said, today's minor refresh leaves a lot to be desired. Aside from the redesigned flat app icon, Sparrow version 1.3.5 contains no new features and it still has the same old user interface that doesn't take advantage of the new iOS 7 visual appearance...

Sparrow updated with iPhone 5 and Passbook support

After Apple rejected Sparrow's iPhone 5 update earlier in the month, critics cried foul and commentators happily pointed out Apple was attempting to derail the popular email client for iOS devices and Macs. There was little hope left for new features after Google acquired Sparrow in June. Plus, the search giant acknowledged as much when it said the Sparrow team would move to Google's Mountain View offices to work on new Gmail features. It's a welcome sign, then, that a new version of Sparrow just surfaced on the App Store. Though short of features, it does bring out two major nice-to-haves: support for the iPhone 5's taller display and Passbook integration...

Apple rejects Sparrow’s iPhone 5 update

Bad news for folks who were looking forward to Sparrow's iPhone 5 update. It appears that it's going to take longer than anticipated, as Apple has rejected the update submission due to it violating its App Store guidelines.

Sparrow developer Dinh Viet Hoa announced the news yesterday afternoon via Twitter, saying that Apple had not approved the team's latest update for its iOS app, which included support for iOS 6 and the new iPhone...

iPhone 5 support is “coming soon” to Sparrow

According to co-founder and developer Dominique Leca, the Sparrow team (now part of Google's Gmail team) is working on a minor update that will enable support for the iPhone 5 and its taller screen. "iPhone 5 support is coming soon to Sparrow", Dominique wrote on Twitter.

Still a big fan and regular user of Sparrow on both the Mac and iOS platform, I sure am pleased that they are continuing to provide at least basic level of support to ensure the program runs smoothly on refreshed devices...

Open-source components of Sparrow now available for download

Sparrow was recently snapped up by Google and people continue to have mixed feelings about this sell-out no one saw coming. The Sparrow team made it clear in a blog post they would cease work on new features (apart from minor updates) as Google has tasked its newly acquired team with improving Gmail mobile apps.

Today, the Sparrow team announced plans to open-source parts of the Sparrow apps for personal use only. If you're good at reverse engineering, why not take a closer look at the Sparrow code?

Poll: how do you feel about Sparrow now?

Sparrow for iPhone debuted in February of 2011 and remains to date known as a kick-ass email client for both desktop and mobile. Those that love Sparrow appreciate its best-in-class Gmail support, clean and minimalistic interface and just the right set of features.

But Sparrow got snapped up by the Internet giant Google today (looks like this is becoming somewhat of a pattern for Google). From what we know so far, the Sparrow development team will be “working on new things at Google” and they "do not plan to release new features for the Sparrow apps".

This likely means 'no' to the promised iPad version and another 'no' to push alerts for incoming messages. It's assumably a sad day for Sparrow die-hards, so I just put together a little poll to gauge your feelings on the subject of today's unexpected acquisition...

Google buys Mac/iOS email client Sparrow, say good-bye to new features

Dang, Google just acquired the popular Mac and iOS email client Sparrow. The value of the transaction or terms of the deal have not been made public, though The Verge thinks Google paid under $25 million for Sparrow. According to a blog post announcing the acquisition, this deal will help the Sparrow team "accomplish a bigger vision", one the team says  "can better achieve with Google". Hopefully that means buying some notification servers, though Sparrow's email to customers is anything but encouraging. Full details below...

Sparrow for iPhone just $0.99 until Thursday

If you need one more reason to buy Sparrow for your iPhone, here's one: For the next 48 hours, the popular third-party email client has been slashed to just 99 cents. That's a two-buck saving over its original asking price of three dollars...

Sparrow for iPhone updated with POP email support

Sparrow for iPhone debuted earlier this year as one of the first third-party email clients to ever land in the App Store. While it's received a lot of praise for its UI, it continues to be criticized for its lack of features.

The jailbreak community has managed to help out with that a bit. But thanks to today's update, stock iPhone users can too cross a major feature off their wish lists. Sparrow 1.3 now supports POP email accounts...

Sparrow confirms work on iPad app is underway

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...

Sparrow for iPad in the works, compliments of the jailbreak community [updated]

Push Notifications are one thing, but support for the iPad is a whole 'nother area where Sparrow is lacking for iOS. As of now, the popular 3rd party email client is iPhone-only, making it difficult for users who have both devices to fully commit to using it.

But as usual, a jailbreak developer is making serious headway on bringing native-like iPad support to Sparrow via a handy tweak. SparrowPlus may already be familiar to a lot of you, it's the same tweak that allows you to make Sparrow your iPhone's default mail client, along with Push Notifications.

Now the developer behind SparrowPlus is working on an update to bring improved Sparrow support to the iPad. It's not perfect, but as you'll see from our hands-on video, it certainly shows some promise...