Sparrow: Long Live Email

Sometimes email feels like a tired old habit that we just can't shake. On the other hand, we're often overwhelmed with the variety of communication options: Twitter, Facebook, Skype, and so on. Many mail services have popped up in recent history that bring new things to the table: first Google with its enormous (at the time) storage space, and now Facebook, who dares to blur the line between social networking and email. But what if we could rejuvenate the 30-year-old dinosaur on the desktop? What if email was hip and bearable?

Sparrow's main user interface

If you use a Mac, then it might be worth your time to check out Sparrow. Sparrow is an email client that lets you focus on the elephant in the room: the email itself. If you are the type that must be pried from the Gmail experience by force, then you'll probably enjoy the fact that Sparrow threads emails in much the same way. If you think even Google has bloated its web email interface too much, then Sparrow is something to look at.

Simply put, Sparrow is a minimalistic yet effective email client. Threading, labels, multiple accounts, IMAP, and Growl notifications are all nicely supported. Sparrow is probably best suited for those who are using Gmail and employing IMAP, as Sparrow has been built around things like Gmail labels. Also, IMAP isn't working for any and all email providers; however, Yahoo! Mail and MobileMe support is coming soon according to their website.

I have been using the beta for some time now, and it really is a joy to use. The minds behind Sparrow have announced that version 1 will be released soon in the Mac App Store. There will be two versions offered: a free ad-supported single-account client, and a $24.99 full-featured flavor.

If you are feeling adventurous, you should check out the latest fully-functional beta version on the Sparrow website.

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