Sparrow is the Tupac of iPhone apps, putting out updates from beyond the grave


Tupac ShakurOver dinner last night with Trista, I somehow found myself saying that Morgan Freeman should pre-record narrations to various classic tales, so that after he’s dead he can put out new eBooks each year for like 20 years. It seems that Sparrow has already claimed this role on iPhone, as the French-founded, Google-owned startup just put out another release, this time adding iPhone5 compatibility and adding Passbook support. This is the second update that Sparrow has received since acquisition, the first of which provided “Open in Chrome” support, a feature Google has added to all of its iOS properties, allowing users to choose either Safari or Chrome when opening a URL from an app.
The acquisition came at a time where Sparrow users who anxiously awaiting an iPad version of the app, as well as push notification support, a wall that Sparrow hit which allegedly drove it to seek acquisition – that and monetization problems. Since acquisition, no iPhone mail app has stepped up to replace Sparrow – I still use it over the native app – and with new updates coming out, some conspiracy theorists are asking “is Sparrow really dead?”
Sparrow + GoogleThis most recent update definitely marks a change in direction from the time of acquisition – while adding the “Open In Chrome” feature provided Google with more visibility across its properties, iPhone 5 & Passbook support definitely were not in the cards during acquisition. Sparrow users are left wondering if the long-awaited iPad version will ever see the light of day, or if push notifications will ever slip into one of these updates.t