The Bottom Line
Sometimes, as with keyboard shortcuts slightly out of kilter, utility suffers, and one can get the impression that Sparrow doesn't afford the individual conversations the importance and centrality they deserve.
Sparrow is no longer updated with new functions (though it continues to be maintained).
- Sparrow brings to your IMAP and POP email accounts a simple interface condensed to message list and emails
- Emails come organized in labels and threads, and Sparrow offers fast local search
- Sparrow supports multiple accounts and can announce new mail via Dock, menu bar and Growl
- Sparrow does not offer filters and cannot undo moving mail
- Some keyboard shortcuts and where the input focus dwells at times can catch you off guard
- Sparrow lacks message templates
- Sparrow lets you access multiple IMAP and POP email accounts (including Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Windows Live Hotmail,…) with a fast and focused desktop interface.
- Emails are displayed as the conversation threads. You can focus the inbox on unread (and, for Gmail, prioritized) messages.
- Sparrow supports IMAP folders and flags (or Gmail labels and stars) for organizing and lets you search mail fast with sender auto-completion and helpful search operators.
- Universal folders show all your accounts' inboxes, sent mail, drafts, starred messages and deleted emails in one place.
- New messages (in select accounts) can be announced using the Sparrow Dock icon, a menu bar icon and Growl.
- Sparrow can open Quick Look previews of attachments. Adding images to emails you send is a matter of dragging and dropping.
- For sending larger files, Sparrow turns using CloudApp or Dropbox into a matter of dragging and dropping as well.
- "Quick Replies" let you answer with the immediacy and coziness of a small input field right above the original message.
- For messages to Shortmail addresses (which accept emails up to 500 characters long), Sparrow shows you how many chars you have left.
- You can format text using standard text formatting; the standard message editor sports a standard formatting toolbar, too.
- Sparrow can put faces to senders picking up photos from Address Book, Gravatar and Facebook.
- Using a trackpad, multi-touch gestures let you open messages in Sparrow, scroll lists and more.
- An ad-supported version is available for free, and you can register to remove advertisements.
- Sparrow supports Mac OS X 10.6/7/8.