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Sparrow is an attempt to get away from supercomplex, feature-packed e-mail clients in favor of a simpler e-mail experience. The interface is elegant while remaining very straightforward: the left side of the interface shows where e-mails are from, and the right side displays the message and any photos or other media commonly sent through e-mail. Setup only requires that you add accounts; then you can get started right away.
Though the interface is sparse compared with many big-name e-mail clients, you still get plenty of the common actions and options you'd expect from a basic e-mail app in Sparrow. You can save your draft e-mails; "Star" (or mark as favorite) specific conversations; add color-coded labels (which you can later sort by); and quickly open and collapse individual e-mails from a thread. You can also import Facebook pictures for your contacts, get Menubar notifications when you receive a message, and send quick replies. Sparrow offers support for all IMAP accounts, including Gmail, MobileMe, Yahoo, and custom IMAP accounts, and you can set up multiple accounts and view your messages in a unified inbox.
Overall, if you're looking for a desktop e-mail client that's not overloaded with features but keeps some of the most important ones you already use, Sparrow might be perfect for the job.
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From Dinh Viet Hoa and Dominique Leca:
Sparrow is a minimalist mail application for Mac. It was designed to keep things simple and efficient. No fancy stuff here, just your mail and nothing else. Quickly flick through threaded conversations on your mac like never before. See your mails the way you want. Quickly glance at the preview. Read it in a new window or open the right pane to enjoy Sparrow's full potential. Growl is integrated for notifications addicts. Seamlessly switch between your mail accounts.
Full email from your menu bar: read, write, reply with gmail style conversation interface. Everything necessary to respond to emails from your computer in a timely manner without opening full-featured email client or internet browser.
Must pay to remove ads, unlock cleaner UI options, and use it for more than one email address.
I've been using this program for several weeks and I like it a lot. I enjoy the minimalist aspect of the program. For example, you have the option to eliminate icon from the dock and only have the little airplane icon on the menubar. I appreciate little touches like that. The inbox appears as a smallish window and so does a reply box, if you even open a new window. The adoption of the gmail conversation works well here and so does the star and label system. I'm going to make the jump to buy as soon as I can assure myself that the program will be in continuing development.
Sparrow is a typical program release now-a-days. It's free to use for one account, but the caveat is that you have to endure a few ads (akin to Evernote). If you want to get rid of the ads, use more than one email account (I think), unlock a few simple UI options, and get rid of the "Sent by Sparrow" by-line automatically attached to your signature, then it costs $9.99 for those features.
I've been using Sparrow for a few weeks now and I love it. It's light weight, very minimal, it's got my work email and that's all I need it to do.