Check Out Sparrow, The New Email App For iPhone That Google And Apple Wish They Could Pull Off

dom leca sparrow appDom Leca, the guy behind Sparrow.

Photo: Dom Leca

When Sparrow debuted on the Mac, it won the hearts and minds of email power users everywhere.Now the Sparrow team has brought its streamlined email experience to iOS.

It’s currently available in the iTunes App Store for $2.99.

We spent this morning noodling around with it. It’s good. 

Sparrow is the app Apple and Google wish they could make for Gmail. Not only is it functional, but it’s also one of the best looking apps on the iPhone right now.

It’s the kind of leap forward Tweetbot made with its Twitter app.

However, there are some drawbacks. Because of Apple’s strict rules for iOS apps, Sparrow can’t send you push notifications when you get a new email. That means you have to constantly check the app for new emails, sort of like you have to constantly check Twitter for new tweets.

Apple’s rules also won’t let you set Sparrow as your default email client. That means if you open an email link on a website or another app, Apple’s Mail app will launch instead of Sparrow.

Drawbacks aside, we’re big fans of Sparrow’s new app. But it really has to be seen to be believed. Keep reading for a full screenshot gallery.

Let's fire up the new Sparrow app

Type in your email credentials. It'll work with any major email service, not just Gmail.

If you want full Sparrow functionality, connect it to Facebook -- this will let you see pictures of the people emailing you

Sparrow will give you a brief walkthrough on how the app works -- it's very swipe-based. In this example, swiping up or down moves to different messages in a conversation

Tapping the top bar switches between your inbox, unread messages, and favourite emails.

You also have the option to subscribe to the Sparrow newsletter

After this process, Sparrow offers full support of your email address, but let's add a second one by tapping the plus sign

In this case, it'll be our work address

What good is an email app if you can't compose a message? Let's get in touch with Tools editor Steve Kovach

If you're at all familiar with the native iOS mail app, then this is second nature. Press send in the top right when you're done.

A few minutes later, Steve replies. Tap the message to read it.

Searching is just as easy as it is in the native mail app as well. Let's looks for messages from Jay Yarow.

A horizontal swipe over any message presents you with all kinds of options to forward, favourite, tag, or delete the email in question.

What about the drawbacks?

As beautiful of an app as Sparrow is, it's not without its downsides. There's no push functionality, meaning you'll have to manually check your email. And you can't set it to be your default email app -- Apple claims total reign on its native mail app, so you'll have to work around it in the meantime.

Outside of these quirks, this is an excellent way to manage your email on the go.

Want to check out another amazing iOS app?

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