The developers behind the outrageously popular email app for OS X, Sparrow, have launched a dedicated iPhone version that is available on the iOS App Store now. The new app makes effective use of multitouch gestures to offer an entirely new email experience on the iPhone for only $2.99. A bold move, given the quality of Apple’s own Mail app on the iPhone but Sparrow aims to offer a totally different experience.
As described by the Sparrow development team, “Like on the desktop, Sparrow iPhone has been designed with care to provide a better and more efficient mail experience”. It certainly does do this, giving all of the screen real estate to a Twitter like feed of emails, with a right to left swipe giving access to available options for each message. The Facebook photo integration is a nice touch.
The app isn’t without its issues, however, with one of the major ones being that the app does not yet support push notifications which means a manual launch for checking email. In addition, there is no support for POP email accounts, only IMAP which shouldn’t really be too much of an issue given the popularity of IMAP, but it may put some people off until it is dealt with. However, the team behind the app are obviously well attuned to the limitations and there’s no doubt that they are working hard to address them.
These are small issues however, given the overall high build quality of the app. It certainly makes you happy to use it and offers an excellent new email experience. It may not match the Apple Mail app for functionality, but more than matches it for User Interface design.
Our recommendation? Give it a shot right now.