Google Pulls 'Sparrow' Mail Apps From App Store to Focus on New 'Inbox' App

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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Google has quietly removed both the iOS and Mac versions of its Sparrow email apps from Apple's App Stores, amid reports the company is shifting to focus more intently on its revamped Inbox by Gmail app (via TechCrunch).

The company bought alternative email client app Sparrow back in 2012 and launched Inbox by Gmail to select users last fall, with a wider release earlier this year.

At the time of its launch, Sparrow offered a unique and accessible email client that made it popular with a wide audience. Google's acquisition saw the Sparrow team focusing on non-Sparrow related projects, and the app's lack of continued developer support saw it nosedive in the App Store rankings in the years since.
Sparrow flying away for good shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, but it has been a long time coming. At the time of Google's acquisition in 2012, reportedly for under $25 million, Sparrow/Google more or less stopped big developments but kept the apps operational and pledged support for existing users.
The Sparrow iOS app never received iOS 8 support and the Mac App was never updated after the acquisition at all, so Google's removal of the apps from the storefront isn't too shocking. Some of that same Sparrow team, including product designer Jean-Marc Denis, have gone on to help Google out with the new Inbox app.

Inbox by Gmail is available to download for free from the App Store. [Direct Link]

Article Link: Google Pulls 'Sparrow' Mail Apps From App Store to Focus on New 'Inbox' App
 

fivedots

macrumors 6502a
Jun 29, 2011
695
3
Inbox is great but sure wish they'd kick development into high gear.

Have to assume a big update is on its way as it has been 2 months since the last one.

Badly needs:

  • Unique notification sound
  • Actionable notifications
  • Signature(s)
  • Swipe to go back
  • Google Apps support
  • Option to open in Safari by default (will probably never happen)
 
Last edited:

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
67,065
34,150
Boston
Can't say that I'm surprised. The hand writing was on the wall when Google purchased them
 

enthusiastic

macrumors regular
Nov 1, 2013
148
119
Inbox is great but sure wish they'd kick development into high gear.

Have to assume a big update is on its way as it has been 2 months since the last one.

Badly needs:

  • Signature(s)
  • Unique notification sound
  • Swipe to go back
  • Actionable notifications
  • Open in Safari by default (will probably never happen)
Google Apps accounts support
 

fivedots

macrumors 6502a
Jun 29, 2011
695
3
As long as they don't mess with good 'ol gmail... inbox is a disaster (for me at least).
I turned off all of the bundling and have been pretty happy with Inbox. That said, I do prefer Gmail's more traditional approach to email. I just wish they'd update the Gmail app to be as solid and well designed as Inbox.

Until then, I'm using Inbox simply because it is a better app than Gmail.
 

LunarFalcon

macrumors regular
Dec 3, 2007
123
72
Inbox is great but sure wish they'd kick development into high gear.

Have to assume a big update is on its way as it has been 2 months since the last one.

Badly needs:

  • Signature(s)
  • Unique notification sound
  • Swipe to go back
  • Actionable notifications
  • Open in Safari by default (will probably never happen)
I agree with all of these. I'd put a unique notification sound at the top of the list.
 

amirite

macrumors 6502a
Aug 17, 2009
878
692
Google does this too often. You can't rely on any of their products besides the biggest money-makers.
 

eprisencc

macrumors member
Sep 15, 2014
76
0
Inbox is great but sure wish they'd kick development into high gear.



Have to assume a big update is on its way as it has been 2 months since the last one.



Badly needs:



  • Signature(s)
  • Unique notification sound
  • Swipe to go back
  • Actionable notifications
  • Open in Safari by default (will probably never happen)

No dude, the app does not need open in safari support. You can copy the link using the share button in chrome. Google's focus should be to add full support for interlinking all its apps in its ecosystem on iOS. Linkable phone numbers still do not open in hangouts.
 

TimelessOne

macrumors regular
Oct 29, 2014
236
2
Can't say that I'm surprised. The hand writing was on the wall when Google purchased them
yep. from what I have seen it looks like they took a lot of sparrow and pulled it into Inbox and gmail itself. So it is still out there just in a different form.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,074
14,898
Central U.S.
At this point buying a mail app for iOS is just dumb. I bought Sparrow and it was bought out and never updated. Fantastic. Not only that but I found it not as useful as you can't replace your default mail client on iOS. It was fun to play with though and had a nice interface, which I'm a sucker for. But just don't buy mail apps. It seems like they keep getting bought out and you probably won't find them useful until Apple lets us replace built-in apps. Here's to hoping for iOS 9. My list of features for iOS is very short these days, but that is a big one. Otherwise a Snow Leopard type update would suffice.
 

fivedots

macrumors 6502a
Jun 29, 2011
695
3
No dude, the app does not need open in safari support. You can copy the link using the share button in chrome. Google's focus should be to add full support for interlinking all its apps in its ecosystem on iOS. Linkable phone numbers still do not open in hangouts.
No dude, YOU do not need open in Safari support. I do. Get over yourself.
 

dBeats

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2011
636
214
Google does this too often. You can't rely on any of their products besides the biggest money-makers.
makers? What other one do they have besides (ad supported) search? Even Android is just a vehicle to feed you search.
 

springsup

macrumors 65816
Feb 14, 2013
1,135
941
They have a billion in cash. They must be doing something right. How about you?
So money makes people right? Rich people never make poor decisions? A poorer person is incapable of a better decision than a rich person? Bad decisions have never been made in rich companies?

Remember that decisions are made 'in' companies, not 'by' them. Companies consist of thousands of human beings who will be responsible for different things, miscommunicate or misjudge things from time to time, and who are, on average, not so significantly richer than you or I that their ideas become infallible. Everybody makes mistakes. Even those with money.

As for Sparrow, the whole reason it exists is because the official Gmail app on iOS is so dreadful that somebody decided to make their own Gmail app. Inbox is interesting, but I wish Google would make a really good, normal, official Gmail app.
 

brendu

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2009
2,444
2,423
USA
They have a billion in cash. They must be doing something right. How about you?
Yeah, comparing a giant corporation's wealth to a single person's is reasonable.... He's right too. Google attempts a ton of stuff and then abandons things quickly when they don't work out fast. It's their prerogative but it frustrates users.
 
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