Quick Pitch: Sparrow is a minimalist mail application for Mac. It was designed to keep things simple and efficient. No fancy stuff here — just your mail and nothing else.
Genius Idea: E-mail has become such a large part of our lives that everyone from Google () to individual developers are looking to build the best solution for faster, better e-mail management. Yet all of the bright new features sometimes make our e-mail inboxes more complex (and sometimes slower) than ever. But not Sparrow.
The free Mac desktop client for Gmail () approaches e-mail with Tweetie ()-like finesse and simplicity. If anything, Sparrow feels like a mobile e-mail client optimized for your desktop, which means it eliminates the chaff to focus on the wheat: exchanging e-mail.
With Sparrow, you can send and receive e-mail, archive messages, filter to view starred items and drafts, and that’s about it. E-mails appear in a single column, and you can expand the client to view messages in a separate panel.
Of course, there’s a command for everything, and Sparrow has all the basics covered, including e-mail threading. But the real magic is the speed at which messages flow in. This client is as fast as they come. Sparrow also comes with Growl notifications, an important feature that alerts Mac users to incoming messages.
If you’re addicted to Priority Inbox, filters, labels and some of the other sophisticated but heavier conveniences that Gmail’s standard interface affords, then Sparrow isn’t the right e-mail client for you right now.
Co-creator Dominique Leca tells us that Sparrow will evolve to include more features and support for additional e-mail providers. “Many features are planned and we’re already collecting user feedback via a GetSatisfaction widget on our site. Gmails labels will be the first new feature and we’ll keep refining the application and widening its potential customer base by adding support for new IMAP mail providers,” he says.
Leca and his partner initially started Sparrow as a side project, but in matter of days their product has exploded on to the scene with 42,000 downloads in five days. “Now that we know Sparrow has potential we’re looking for investors,” Leca explains.
Does the idea of a more minimalistic e-mail experience appeal to you? Share your thoughts on Sparrow in the comments.