Google acquires Apple-oriented email client Sparrow ahead of iPad app release

Posted:
in Genius Bar edited January 2014
In its latest move to better position itself against rival Apple in the high-stakes battle for mobile computing applications, Google has purchased alternative email client developer Sparrow, which previously designed its product exclusively for Apple customers.

A letter plastered across the Sparrow homepage Friday from chief executive Dom Leca proclaims his excitement for the acquisition, claiming the company's assets will be rolled into the Gmail team in an effort to "accomplish a bigger vision — one that we think we can better achieve with Google."
We're excited to announce that Sparrow has been acquired by Google!

We care a lot about how people communicate, and we did our best to provide you with the most intuitive and pleasurable mailing experience.

Now we're joining the Gmail team to accomplish a bigger vision — one that we think we can better achieve with Google.

We?d like to extend a special thanks to all of our users who have supported us, advised us, given us priceless feedback and allowed us to build a better mail application. While we?ll be working on new things at Google, we will continue to make Sparrow available and provide support for our users.

We had an amazing ride and can't thank you enough.

Full speed ahead!

Dom Leca

CEO

Sparrow
Since its release on the Mac App store early last year, Sparrow has gained a following among Apple circles as an alternative to the Mail application that ships on Macs due to a more simplified interface akin to Twitter and its social network tie-ins. Sparrow followed up that release this March with an iOS version for iPhones and iPod touches.

Sparrow
Sparrow made its debut on the Mac in Feb 2011 before hitting the iPhone this March.


Although the long-term fate of those apps remains unclear from Leca's announcement, he did say the company would continue to make those applications available while working on new things at Google. However no comment was made on the fate of the iPad version of Sparrow that was said to be under development, suggesting that product -- along with its Mac and iPhone counterparts -- could merge their way into Google-branded offerings for those devices and future Android products.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 95
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    A dark day, indeed.

  • Reply 2 of 95


    Just purchased the OS X app and iOS app in the last couple of months, loved it, but was hoping for a future addition/integration with iCal. I guess I'll have to go back to Mail.app and wasted $12 or whatever...

  • Reply 3 of 95


    Wow, really? Admittedly I've heard good things about Sparrow, but having tried the Mac version of Sparrow several times (looking for an alternative to Apple Mail and Gmail), I've always been disappointed.


     


    Has a few nice features, but it always feels so slow and clunky and insists on downloading huge volumes of mail from my GMail account.


     


    Maybe it's the iOS version that Google were interested in.

  • Reply 4 of 95


    Utterly sucky ...


     


    With Google's acquisition, Sparrow is DEAD, it may get a few bug fixes, but we wont ever see new features, or the iPad version


     


    I wonder if google did this to kill the iOS app, especially as it provided standard IMAP mail access as well as GMAIL. Rather than just acquire a good team of programmers


     


    I have Sparrow (which I use via VPN to my home mail server), I am now contemplating alternative mail clients, ones that will have support and get development


     


    This is a bad move by Google for Apple users, a very bad move. Given how other projects and software in google goes (and sucks), I suspect we wont see an improved GMAIL application (as some people hope the acquisition will provide)

  • Reply 5 of 95
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,570member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    A dark day, indeed.



     


    Largely irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. They saw a chance to cash in and took it, good for them. It won't make any difference to Apple or Mac users in the long run.


     


    Although, clearly Google bought them as a, "FU Apple users," move. It's not exactly rocket science to create an email client and even the engineers at Google could have done it. Nor would Google have been shy about ripping off the UI, as we know from Google's lengthy history of stealing IP. The only reason they bought this was to either a) kill it on Apple platforms or b) to keep releasing it on Apple platforms but turn it into spyware.

  • Reply 6 of 95


    I stopped using Sparrow a few weeks ago. I must be psychic.

  • Reply 7 of 95


    Google has become the new Microsoft.


     


    Long-time Apple fans will remember when they robbed the Mac of getting Halo by purchasing Bungie...

  • Reply 8 of 95
    hexorhexor Posts: 57member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SirKneeland View Post


    Google has become the new Microsoft.


     


    Long-time Apple fans will remember when they robbed the Mac of getting Halo by purchasing Bungie...



    Oh quit reminding us of that!  I even remember Steve Jobs demoing a pre-release version of Halo at a MacWorld.. that's probably even where MS saw it and decided to buy it.

  • Reply 9 of 95
    radjinradjin Posts: 165member
    Now that the little bird is in the tummy of the vulture, any email through it is suspect to google's data mining to sell you out.
  • Reply 10 of 95
    draydray Posts: 1member


    Some snooze or become lethargic and loose. Some buy so others don't win. Some sell for the monetary gain. The product will probably be discontinued. It seemed to have promise. Now it seem to be a lose for all. Another tool like it will be deployed. Maybe its lifecycle will have friendlier stakeholders!

  • Reply 11 of 95

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SirKneeland View Post


    Google has become the new Microsoft.


     


    Long-time Apple fans will remember when they robbed the Mac of getting Halo by purchasing Bungie...



    I'm sorry but I had to laugh at that because Apple is just like MS too, if not worse.

  • Reply 12 of 95


    my guess is that sparrow went to goodle to ask for assistance since apple wouldn't open up the "push" API to another mail client.  Google said, instead of helping you, all you really are is a coat of paint on our admittedly poor interface.  How about you fix our interface, and we give you a truck load of cash to do that and we'll get pushed worked out for you.

  • Reply 13 of 95


    so.. first they buy Meebo and kill it.. now Sparrow? are they here to make internet useful or useless?


    Meebo was shut down 11th July and G+ still offer me no solution for my MSN/AIM/Yahoo/ICQ/Gtalk/Facebookchat/Myspace chat needs. meebo had it in one place, i could connect with my 3GS and browser, from multiple machines, and not a message was lost. Since Meebo got bought up by Google+, and Meebo was shut down by G+/Google 9 days ago, they still have not offered anything to replace it with. i really don't understand why they have to act this way. I wish iMessage / Messages gave me MSN/AIM/Y!/ICQ/Gchat/FBchat/Myspace/Messages, so i could just use that instead, and trust it to work. if google ever unveil anything like Meebo, i don't think i'll really feel good about using it. if they were serious about providing Meebo-like services, they would have had one running start 10th - 11th July, instead nothing - just another buy&Kill. will Sparrow be another Buy&Kill?

  • Reply 14 of 95
    ifailifail Posts: 463member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SirKneeland View Post


    Google has become the new Microsoft.


     


    Long-time Apple fans will remember when they robbed the Mac of getting Halo by purchasing Bungie...



     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hexor View Post


    Oh quit reminding us of that!  I even remember Steve Jobs demoing a pre-release version of Halo at a MacWorld.. that's probably even where MS saw it and decided to buy it.



     


    Thats what happens when great talent is recognized by others, Steve Jobs & Co could have easily snatched Bungie up back in the day but chose not to, until it was too late and Microsoft bought them. 


     


    Not like it matters, Halo is still one of the best titles to ever exist in the FPS genre. 

  • Reply 15 of 95
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by specter2009 View Post

    I'm sorry but I had to laugh at that because Apple is just like MS too, if not worse.


     


    Explain. Apple turns their acquisitions into actual applications.

  • Reply 16 of 95
    filburtfilburt Posts: 398member


    I came very close to buying Sparrow apps during promo period. I am glad I didn't pull the trigger.

  • Reply 17 of 95
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,772member


    I don't like Google being able to buy out all of their competition. I don't want one company to have everything. Google should just make their chat client the best one out there instead of trying to buy their growth.

  • Reply 18 of 95
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member


    The shitification of Sparrow. 


     


    I don't really care, though. All I used it for was as a Gmail client on the Mac, since integrating a Gmail account into Mail.app is a mess I'd rather not have to clean up. Gmail works quite nicely with the iOS Mail app, in my opinion, so no problem there. 


     


    I guess I'll continue to use it as a Gmail-only Mac app, provided it remains an actual application. 

  • Reply 19 of 95
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,443member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    Explain. Apple turns their acquisitions into actual applications.



    TS, it looks like it's fairly common for Apple to simply roll an acquisition into an existing product rather than always turning them into applications.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mergers_and_acquisitions_by_Apple

  • Reply 20 of 95
    alanskyalansky Posts: 235member


    Unfortunately for the Sparrow developers, they wouldn't be the first company to discover that pursuing a "bigger vision" can be a one-way ticket to oblivion.

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