Google has quietly removed both the iOS and Mac versions of its Sparrow email apps from Apple's App Stores, amid reports the company is shifting to focus more intently on its revamped Inbox by Gmail app (via TechCrunch).
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.