iPhone and Mac Gmail app, Sparrow, acquired by Google

Sparrow, the elegant, delightful Gmail -- and general mail -- created for the Mac and brought over to the iPhone, has announced they've been acquired by Google. Sparrow CEO Dom Leca announced the deal on the Sparrow blog, saying in part:

Now we're joining the Gmail team to accomplish a bigger vision — one that we think we can better achieve with Google.

And in a more personal email sent out to users:

We will continue to make available our existing products, and we will provide support and critical updates to our users. However, as we’ll be busy with new projects at Google, we do not plan to release new features for the Sparrow apps.

That last part is the kicker from a user perspective, and immediately brings a few thoughts to mind:

  1. Congratulations to Dom and the whole team at Sparrow. They made a great product and it got the biggest attention in the business.
  2. Once again, a small team of indie developers coded circles around a big company, and just like Instagram and Facebook, and Tweetie and Twitter, the big company was smart enough to notice and pounce on it.
  3. While it's still too early to tell about Instagram, Twitter absolutely destroyed any and all value Tweetie had, completely replacing the iPhone app, and leaving the iPad and Mac apps to languish as abandonware.
  4. If Google were smart, they'd keep Sparrow as wholly-owned, in-house competitor to the lackluster Gmail for iPhone app, and rather than allowing it to fall into a slow, maintenance-mode driven death (which is sounds like it's doing), they'd keep it vibrant and in active development. They'd let Sparrow be Sparrow.
  5. Sadly, given Google's abysmal track record with everything from Twitter-competitor Jaiku to the apps spun out of the Slide acquisition, it's probably better this way -- users get quick if brutal closure rather than false hope and drawn out disappointment.

Congrats again to Sparrow, and farewell!

Source: Sparrow blog