The company bought alternative email client app Sparrow back in 2012 and launched Inbox by Gmail to select users last fall, with a wider release earlier this year.
At the time of its launch, Sparrow offered a unique and accessible email client that made it popular with a wide audience. Google's acquisition saw the Sparrow team focusing on non-Sparrow related projects, and the app's lack of continued developer support saw it nosedive in the App Store rankings in the years since.
Sparrow flying away for good shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, but it has been a long time coming. At the time of Google’s acquisition in 2012, reportedly for under $25 million, Sparrow/Google more or less stopped big developments but kept the apps operational and pledged support for existing users.The Sparrow iOS app never received iOS 8 support and the Mac App was never updated after the acquisition at all, so Google's removal of the apps from the storefront isn't too shocking. Some of that same Sparrow team, including product designer Jean-Marc Denis, have gone on to help Google out with the new Inbox app.
Inbox by Gmail is available to download for free from the App Store. [Direct Link]