sparrowlogo 1Sparrow, a popular alternative mail client on OS X, has arrived on the iPhone.

Sparrow is an iPhone mail client designed with love to provide you with an efficient and pleasant mailing experience. With its panel navigation, its new threading system and many new features, you'll never look back.

Sparrow for iPhone makes extensive use of swipes to help power users navigate the app quickly, a unified inbox, and top-notch Gmail support.

The app is missing some features considered essential to any email app. By far the most important is push notifications. Sparrow has a special page explaining why the app doesn't have push, along with a notification list where users can sign up to receive an email if push notifications are added to the app. Also missing is support for POP email accounts -- Sparrow only works with IMAP accounts like Gmail, iCloud, AOL, or any custom IMAP account.


Aside from those limitations, the app has been well received, with positive reviews from MacStories, The Verge, and The Next Web.

Sparrow for iPhone is available for $2.99 on the App Store. [Direct Link]

Top Rated Comments

macduke Avatar
158 months ago
No push is a deal breaker. App looks great though. I'll wait until it has push (if ever).

I wish Apple would provide a way for 3rd party apps like this to replace stock apps. It's the same reason I don't use 3rd party camera apps: I can't get to them quickly from the home screen. Wish they would provide an API for it where an app needs to meet certain requirements to replace a stock app, and then socket it into place throughout the system.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lgreer Avatar
158 months ago
I'd like separate email signatures, one per account. Can Sparrow do that?

That is the one feature I've wanted since the day the 3GS came out...

Yes. Sparrow for iOS supports multiple signatures. It makes the default Mail app look like it was built in the stone age. Totally worth $3.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yetanotherdave Avatar
158 months ago
I suspect they'll have push soon enough,

In the mean time, I have the main mail app giving me push notifications, and I simply open the sparrow app to read the mails...

I hope iOS6 lets you change some default apps, I would also like to see a way to force certain URL types to use an app, like any twitter.com/... url should open in Tweetbot, not safari. Amazon.co.uk in the amazon app, not safari

(and yes, I have sent feedback to apple, rather than just complaining on a forum)
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nagromme Avatar
158 months ago


I never understood the need for third party email applications. You can't replace the stock app, so now I have two mail apps going off constantly. Plus everytime I go to email something to someone it will just bring up the stock email app anyway. What does sparrow do that the stock app doesn't do? If anything it seems like you're paying $2.99 for a diff design and a lack of features; no support for certain email formats, and no push notifications.

You can largely replace the stock Mail app: just remove or disable all mail accounts in the stock app, and it will no longer get mail or notify you. (Or, simply set it to check manually only, and disable its badges.) Toss the Mail app in a folder somewhere with Stocks and Game Center, and put Sparrow in your dock.

However, that one last problem remains: when an app creates an email (like game invitations, data backups, shared photos) it uses Mail. You might want to keep one account in Mail for that reason, then copy-paste any app-generated emails from there into Sparrow. Or even simpler: just let Mail handle app-generated emails (what’s the harm?) and use Sparrow for writing your OWN emails, and for receiving.

(For web page email links, maybe someone could make a bookmarklet that finds email addresses on the page and opens them in Sparrow. All Sparrow needs is a custom URI scheme, which it probably already has.)

Now, it isn’t worth it for me—I like the Mail app. But if you like Sparrow, you can replace Mail—mostly.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Frankied22 Avatar
158 months ago
I never understood the need for third party email applications. You can't replace the stock app, so now I have two mail apps going off constantly. Plus everytime I go to email something to someone it will just bring up the stock email app anyway. What does sparrow do that the stock app doesn't do? If anything it seems like you're paying $2.99 for a diff design and a lack of features; no support for certain email formats, and no push notifications.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
skellener Avatar
158 months ago
I use the Mac OS X client and now the iOS version. Great Mail client! Want Push? Just use Boxcar! I just wish they made the app universal for the iPad as well.

----------

I'd like separate email signatures, one per account. Can Sparrow do that?

That is the one feature I've wanted since the day the 3GS came out...
Yes, it has this.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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