I bloody hate it. I’ve cut down the interface so it’s as “Sparrow-like” as I can make it, but there’s just something… wrong… about the whole thing.
For me, Sparrow felt fresher; a good take on an email UI. There was nothing groundbreaking, but it worked very well. It was email given a much needed facelift. Mail, by contrast, feels essentially the same as the Pegasus mail client I used back at university. In 1999.
Yes, there are some improvements, such as conversations, and sender photos – though to make use of these, the sender has to be in your contacts… which isn’t so handy when (like me) 90% of your mail is notifications from various services. But is essentially the same as the mail client I used in 1999. That is crazy.
I did this little switching experiment to see what would be involved in moving away from Sparrow when the time is right. After all, Sparrow isn’t going away overnight, and what is there now works, so there’s no reason to do so immediately. But eventually I – like every other Sparrow user – will have to move on. Abandonware applications become unusable eventually, with no hope of a fix. It could be the next major version of OSX introduces some breaking change, or could be the first update to Mountain Lion. We don’t know, which necessitates looking at the alternatives. That the only alternatives don’t seem as good makes things frustrating.
- Google acquires Mac, iOS email client Sparrow (macworld.com)
- How to Prepare for Google’s Acquisition of Sparrow (chrismcleod.me)