get gmail on your iphone the way it was meant to be with sparrow

Get email on your iPhone the way it was meant to be with Sparrow

Many of you have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Sparrow for iPhone, myself included, so I'm excited to report that it's here! Sparrow is a popular mail client for the Mac that focuses on providing the perfect email experience. That experience is now available on your iPhone.

Sparrow is particularly great for Gmail users because it handles labels extremely well. You are not restricted to Gmail, though. Sparrow offers full iMAP support including Gmail, Google Apps, iCloud, Yahoo, AOL, Mobile Me and custom IMAP accounts. It does not support POP or Exchange accounts.

Some of the favorite features of Sparrow include using Facebook to assign avatars to your friends, ability to add attachments while composing a message, a very well designed pane navigation layout, pull to refresh, alias support, and custom signatures for each email account.

Unfortunately, Sparrow does not support push. Not by choice, however; Apple made them remove it. At least for now.

I've been using Sparrow for Mac over Apple's Mail client for over a month now and have been extremely happy with it. I'm very excited about Sparrow on my iPhone and even though I've only spent a moment with it, I'm already impressed. Without push, however, it may be hard for me to make the switch from the native Mail app. We'll see.

2.99 - Download Now

Sparrow iPhone from domleca on Vimeo.

Leanna Lofte

App and Photography Editor at iMore. Mother, wife, and math instructor. Follow her on Twitter @llofte and send her apps to consider for review at

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There are 32 comments. Add yours.

Casey says:

No push = no download for me at least.

Silvetti says:

Have to agree, without Push this is pointless.

Dude says:

No push + no POP + 2.99 = lame

Sean says:

I'm looking forward to an iPad version of this too!

skylite22 says:

At least someone is excited about it.

Dev says:

For those who want more details as to why push was removed, you can see Sparrow's explanation here.
In a nutshell, Sparrow initially used the same frameworks that VoIP applications (like Skype) use to respond to network events, and Apple said no. On their page, Sparrow has what appears to be a signup if you want to register your desire for such a feature; they imply that perhaps with enough signups they can persuade Apple to change their minds.

Mark says:

Like Apple is going to care people want it added? LOL, they scoff at thee.
They should have put it in cydia with the features people want and need in an email client. Glad I didn't jump on this before looking into reviews - saved me 3 bucks. Thanks iMore!

fabsgwu says:

As a Sparrow for Mac user I'm excited to use Sparrow on iPhone now. While it is at first blush just a mail app, Sparrow users will enjoy the little UI niceties that set it apart from Apple's stock app. There is some room for improvement, but I'm already enjoying the gestures and different handling of threaded views. Similar to why Tweetbot is worth buying even though Twitter is free, Sparrow will find a good following. And Apple will probably "borrow" many of its innovations for iOS 6.

T-Will says:

Downloaded before even reading the article. Personally, not concerned about push (I like to leave it off for email since I get too much email and it gets distracting).

MILE says:

I'll give it a try just out of curiosity but the absence of push is almost a dealbreaker for me. The other problem I have is that no 3rd party apps are ever going to be as well integrated into the OS as Apple's own native apps, which is why I usually stick with those.

MILE says:

Also I think there would be kind of an inconsistency when using different mail clients on the iPhone and the iPad, at least for me. So in the end I see more disadvantages than advantages in switching from Mail to Sparrow…

Aleks says:

Exactly what I thought. The thing is: You can't really switch from Whenever you send an email from another application it will go out through

Melwan says:

I'm using Boxcar to get around push for now.

Inappropriate Response says:

exactly, probably the better solution anyway. I only have important mails sent to boxcar otherwise you'd get nothing done in the day; constantly checking your phone.

DarkMx2000 says:

Wow didn't even realize that boxcar was still around.

Peter Johnson says:

Just for any MailShot Pro users out there playing with Sparrow...
You can't use MailShot group email as seamlessly from Sparrow as you can for most apps, but there is a workaround: If you save and retrieve your email from drafts just before you send, it will send email to the entire group.

Sohail Hussain says:

I've been looking for a native app that supports gmail labels and archiving properly, but I'm stuck on iOS4 (having an old iPod touch) so can't use this app. Does anyone know of something I could use that isn't a crappy web app wrapper like Google's?

Jeff says:

If it doesn't have Push or Exchange or POP, then it's the same as saying "I have a GPS app but it doesn't include maps or location awareness.. and it's $2.99.. but it looks pretty!"

cardfan says:

No push makes it useless.

Tanax says:

Tnk's for the article but i'm a happy user of Thunderbird (Win, Mac, IOS, Android, etc. etc) with IMAP, POP, News reader... Free... Open source ;-)

sting7k says:

No Exchange or push of any kind why would I pay money for something that does less?

Dev says:

If you are a gmail user who uses labels and conversations, it is easily worth $3, because it handles them much, much better than

Michael Romero says:

Sparrow for Mac may be as close to a perfect mail app that has ever been created. I like it so much I wish I had something like it when I'm away from my MacBook and using a Windows machine. I'm betting that Sparrow on the iPhone will be awesome, but the lack of push is a dealbreaker for something I'm going to spend money on. I know it's not their fault, but I like getting the notifications so I can decide if I really need to look at the email quickly or not. I do hope they can get this resolved in the future because the app itself looks super slick.

DataCentre says:

Doesn't support POP....forget it. No deal. Hope Apple changes their mail app to be like this and Facebook.

impaler says:

Don't know if anyone else noticed this, but I went and got Sparrow for iOS, because of how awesome it is, and the fact I prefer native apps to the web anyday. But there are no notification settings for Sparrow at ALL in iOS…so I can't customize notifications, add it to notification center, nothing. I understand no push, and that's not a biggie…but will this app even fetch mail if it's not open? Kinda seems dumb to me if it won't do that, or at least set up polling and push notifications.

jsigler says:

So it doesn't have push, but it does actually DELETE emails when you delete them in GMail rather that archiving like the native app. For someone who gets a lot of emails that don't need to be saved that is great.
To me what is so awesome about Sparrow is the mutiple signature ability. I do work and play on my iPhone. I need my work emails to say something more that "Sent from my iPhone" and I don't need to tick off my friends with my work signature like I'm trying to sell them.
Who cares about push, I can hold on a second, it isn't like there is a blinking LED to tell me I have mail like my Crackberry.
Sparrow might not be for you, but then that is why there are multiple apps out there that do similar things. It is right for me and enough other people it is in the #2 paid app right now. Says something there.

I heart sparrow says:

Love the ease of sparrow on both my iMac and iPhone.
On the phone - getting around the lack of push is no prob I didnt delete gmail so the notifications still work fine. Plus with lock on I have to access my mail directly anyway so I go to sparrow.
However as someone else mentioned there is no where to adjust settings - if sparrow is reading this - what's the dealy yo? I'd like to adjust my signature.