Google acquires Sparrow, halts development on iOS and Mac apps

By on July 20, 2012, 1:00 PM

Email startup Sparrow has been acquired by Google. The company’s CEO Dom Leca announced the news on the company's site and Twitter account this morning, saying that the team behind the popular iOS and Mac email client will be joining the Gmail team to “accomplish a bigger vision”.

Exactly what that new vision entails is unclear. So far the company been entirely Apple-centric, launching in February 2011 as it sought to capitalize on the rather poor Gmail experience offered to iOS users at the time -- an official app didn’t arrive for Apple’s mobile platform until November last year and the spartan email client that ships with the iPhone and iPad left much to be desired for Gmail users. Sparrow became the top paid and top grossing app in less than one day.

According to a statement sent to 9to5Mac, the team behind Sparrow will continue to make their existing apps available and provide support as well as critical updates to our users, but no new features will be added going forward. Apparently they will be busy with new projects at Google instead, which could mean the focus will shift solely to Android, or simply that the Sparrow email client is no more.

Either way it’s bad news for existing users of Sparrow. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.




User Comments: 10

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RH00D RH00D said:

Defeat competition by buying them out. Nice.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Defeat competition by buying them out. Nice.

It's been the way of the tech world for as long as I can remember (and even more so lately). Bill "If you can't beat them buy them" Gates was an early master at the tactic...

Staff
Jos Jos said:

The functionality will probably be folded into the official Gmail app for iOS so it's not like they are abandoning the platform altogether. But it'd still suck for existing Sparrow users if they start to prioritize Android development going forward.

Also, I wonder if they'll maintain the option to add email accounts besides Gmail.

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

The purchase is rumored to be just less than $25 million and with the purpose of "bringing beauty to all of its Gmail experiences", source: [link]

I don't believe Google bought a 5-person team specialized in iOS development for their Android products, they'll surely be influencing Android products but definitely they'll keep working on iOS apps IMO.

ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

The functionality will probably be folded into the official Gmail app for iOS so it's not like they are abandoning the platform altogether. But it'd still suck for existing Sparrow users if they start to prioritize Android development going forward.

Also, I wonder if they'll maintain the option to add email accounts besides Gmail.

I can't imagine they wouldn't let you use other emails. If they did that all it would do is make a bad name for Google. And it isn't THAT bad for current Sparrow users. Like the article said, "the team behind Sparrow will continue to make their existing apps available and provide support as well as critical updates to our users". The only difference is that they are going to build up the android version to where they are on iOS before adding new features.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I can't imagine they wouldn't let you use other emails. If they did that all it would do is make a bad name for Google. And it isn't THAT bad for current Sparrow users. Like the article said, "the team behind Sparrow will continue to make their existing apps available and provide support as well as critical updates to our users". The only difference is that they are going to build up the android version to where they are on iOS before adding new features.

Google makes money on ads in Gmail and other such services. I can't begin to guess at motives, but I figure they're more likely to make money if they keep as many users as they can, rather than forcing people to move to another e-mail provider out of anger. But then who knows?

Rippleman Rippleman said:

"Email startup Sparrow"? I have only started to use IOS in the past year, isn't this the same company for the last 5 years? hardly technically a "start-up" anymore.

(tried goggling it with no success)

Staff
Jesse Jesse said:

Rippleman, the article states that the company launched in February 2011...

Rippleman Rippleman said:

Opps... Was confused since I think my friend who had an iPhone way back still had the same UI. Figured same company (or division of).

RajeGera RajeGera said:

Creativity is again sold to big daddys.It will be interesting to see how sparrow helps gmail in gaining bigger market.

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