Wow. Sparrow, the awesome Gmail Mac and iOS app many of you have come to love has officially been acquired by Google. The announcement on Sparrow’s site is rather brief and doesn’t really go into any details on the immediate future. That said, CEO Dom Leca says that the Sparrow team will continue providing updates and support for Sparrow’s loyal userbase while also working on a “bigger vision”, and one that the team thinks they can better accomplish with Google.
While the publicly posted announcement on their site seems to leave open the door for some progress, ableit small progress, on the Sparrow app ecosystem, the announcement sent out to users via email makes it very clear — the apps are dead. Sparrow CEO Dom Leca says that since the team will be busy working on Google projects, they “do not plan to release new features for the Sparrow apps”.
If the Sparrow team can make Gmail as a whole suck less (visually and native app speaking) we’re all for the new acquisition. Sadly, all we can see happening anytime soon are a few (very) minor UI tweaks to the Gmail.com portals and Gmail Android/iOS apps, and eventually, the abandonment of the Sparrow Mac and iOS apps.
Gadgetsteria’s Take: RIP Sparrow. When was the last time Google 1) made a good Mac/iOS app and 2) actually supported an acquired 3rd party product without closing it a few weeks/months later?
UPDATE: According to sources of The Verge, Google paid “under $25 million” for Sparrow and that moving forward, Google is focused on bringing “beauty, stability and ease of use” to multiple platforms. Also, the company is apparently leaving native applications on the table for now, meaning a re-branded Sparrow or completely re-written from-the-ground-up Gmail app for iOS (as well as Mac and other platforms) could become a reality further down the road. The purchase of Sparrow is the carrier to actual native Gmail apps should Google decide to go that route, it seems.
Public Announcement On Sparrow’s Website
“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”
The Email Announcement…
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!