Sparrow Email App Beta for Desktop [Review]

20101005-sparrow.jpg

Sparrow is a new email client for OS X, which takes a fresh approach to displaying and managing email.

The default view of your inbox looks like a Twitter client. In theory, you can do a lot of your message management from right here, just by reading the previews (which look a lot like Tweets) and deleting, archiving, or replying accordingly.

There is an option to display the message pane (as shown above), at which point it starts to look more like a traditional email client.

If you have the “Twitter-style” pane listing your messages, and you open one of them to read it in full, you see just the message and no immediately obvious controls. You have to hover your mouse pointer over the date and time in the top-right corner, then a small actions button will appear – click this to get to the controls. That said, there are keyboard shortcuts aplenty.

Right now Sparrow can only handle Gmail accounts, but there are plans to support all manner of IMAP services in future.

I like the idea of Sparrow: email often feels much too cumbersome and if a new approach to the client could simplify it a bit, well, that would be a good thing. This beta still has some way to go, so I look forward to seeing what happens with future updates. One to watch.

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About the author

Giles TurnbullGiles Turnbull is a freelance writer in England. He also writes for the Press Association and The Morning News. You can find out more at his website, and follow him on Twitter @gilest.

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