Google captures Sparrow iOS/Mac email app [Update: Feature freeze]

Jul 20, 2012
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Popular iOS and Mac email app Sparrow has been acquired by Google, with the team responsible for the iPhone and OS X app headed to take up roles in Google's Gmail division. "We care a lot about how people communicate, and we did our best to provide you with the most intuitive and pleasurable mailing experience" Sparrow announced today. "Now we're joining the Gmail team to accomplish a bigger vision."

Exactly what that new vision will look like is unclear, but it seems likely that better Gmail apps for iOS and Android are in the pipeline. There's also the possibility of a standalone Gmail app for OS X and Windows, or at least more functionality on Chromebooks, depending on the angle Google decides to take with its web email service.

"While we’ll be working on new things at Google, we will continue to make Sparrow available and provide support for our users" Sparrow says. The company has seen huge success, with iPhone owners in particular keen to replace Apple's native email app on the smartphone, though troubles getting access to iOS' push service have meant a compromise in the user-experience.

Financial details on the acquisition have not been confirmed, and Google is yet to comment on its plans for Sparrow.

Sparrow statement:

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!

Update: According to an email from Sparrow to users, shared by 9to5Mac, while the existing apps will still be offered, there will be no new features added:

Hello,
We’re excited to let you know that Sparrow has been acquired by Google! You can view our public announcement here, but I wanted to reach out directly to make sure you were aware of the news.We will continue to make available our existing products, and we will provide support and critical updates to our users. However, as we’ll be busy with new projects at Google, we do not plan to release new features for the Sparrow apps.
It’s been an honor and a pleasure to build products for all of our wonderful users who have supported us over the years. We can’t thank you enough.
We look forward to working on some new and exciting projects at Google!


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