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Inbox by Gmail iOS app now has full iPad version, still requires invite at present

inbox

Inbox by Gmail, which Google appears to view as a replacement for the popular email client Sparrow, has been very quietly updated, notes TechCrunch, to include a native build for iPad. The app is currently only available in some countries (including the U.S.), and neither the App Store description nor What’s New entry mention the iPad build.

The app, which our hands-on last October described as “a marriage between Gmail and Google Now,” has tended to polarise views, some loving it, others hating it–with very few falling between the two … 

No new functionality has been added, and you still need an invite to use the app–which you can apply for here. The app itself is a free download from iTunes.

It’s believed that the Inbox app has been largely developed by the Sparrow team Google acquired back in 2012. Google removed both the iOS and Mac versions of the Sparrow email client a few days ago.


Filed under: Apps Tagged: App Store (iOS), Email client, Gmail, Google, inbox, Inbox by Gmail, Inbox for Gmail, sparrow

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Ben Lovejoy

February 19th

Apple

Mac

Google removes Sparrow email client from iOS & Mac App Stores following Inbox launch

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Google acquired the popular email client Sparrow back in 2012 and announced that the entire team would be joining Google to work on Gmail. Since that acquisition, Sparrow apps received only a handful of updates and have been seemingly neglected in favor of Google’s new Inbox initiative. Over the past few days, however, Sparrow appears to have received the final nail in its coffin as it has been removed from both the Mac App Store and iOS App Store (via TechCrunch).

The last time the $2.99 email app appeared in the iOS App Store was February 12th, while the $9.99 Mac app was last available on February 13th. The Mac app, however, is still available from Sparrow’s website directly. The last time the iOS update received an update was October 2013 to add iOS 7 compatibility. The Mac app never saw an update. At one point, Sparrow was the most popular app on the iOS App Store. It is to be seen if Google will launch a dedicated, native Inbox application for the Mac to replace Sparrow.

At the time of the acquisition, Sparrow co-founder and CEO Dom Leca said that him and his team were eager to work on new things at Google, while also continuing to provide support for Sparrow customers.

The talent from the Sparrow acquisition has presumably been dedicated to Google’s new Inbox email client, which it launched last October. Inbox is seen as a marriage between Gmail and Google Now and is something Google says it is very focused on headed into the future.


Filed under: Apps Tagged: Gmail, Google, inbox, sparrow

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Chance Miller

February 17th

Apple

Mac

Google’s Sparrow mail app updated for the first time in months with new icon, iOS 7 fixes

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Despite being bought out by Google, the replacement mail app Sparrow has now been updated for iOS 7. Whilst the developers behind Sparrow never said that work on the app had ceased, this was the implied meaning of Sparrow’s thank you letter still visible on the Sparrow website. Until today, the app had not been updated since December 2012, nearly a year ago.

This update brings compatibility bug fixes for iOS 7 as well as a new flatter icon, shown above.  Even so, work on Sparrow is obviously not a priority for the team. Apart from a new icon, the point-fix update brings no new visual appearance to the app’s interface or any new features for users.

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Benjamin Mayo

October 15th

Apple

Mac

How Google wants to own the iPhone and how Apple is trying to stop it

A Google Zombie iPhone?

With Android now on 75 percent of all smartphones sold, and Apple and Samsung battling in and out of court for the top vendor position, the smartphone wars usually come down to units sold. Apple vs. Samsung. Android vs. iOS. Less of a focus has been Google’s steady invasion of iOS, providing users with an alternative universe to most of the core features of Apple’s mobile operating system. The importance of Google’s ecosystem of iOS apps has never been more apparent than following the recent controversy over the removal of YouTube and Google Maps as default features of iOS. Apple realized the necessity of controlling key experiences on iOS, such as Maps, but it is running into a backlash from users in the process. It is not just facing competition from Android vendors; it is also now engaged in a struggle to keep Google from creating its own layer on top of iOS.

Google’s iOS apps are not just driving iPhone and iPad users to use Google services instead of Apple’s; they are increasingly an important aspect of the iOS experience for a large amount of users. Sixty-one percent of iOS users in our own polls said they were hesitant to even update to iOS 6 because of Apple’s new Maps app, many of which are still waiting for a standalone Google Maps app that Apple has yet to approve. Some say the Maps fiasco coupled with Siri might have even led to the departure of long-time iOS chief Scott Forstall, which many think could result in a new direction for iOS. What this means for Google’s presence on iOS going forward remains to be seen, but Apple does not appear to be ignoring the control Google’s apps have over its users.

Google has quickly been updating its arsenal of iOS apps—a selection that now provides the majority of Android’s flagship features in a little over a handful of increasingly integrated iOS apps. That…on top of the ability to open links from most of Google’s apps within the Chrome iOS app, Google is doing everything it can to keep iOS users inside its ecosystem even when not on its hardware. It’s an angle Apple doesn’t have, and for Google it’s working.

Apple’s App Store guidelines make it pretty clear it can reject any apps with features that too closely resemble default functionality of iOS. With that said, Google makes it easy to have an almost full-blown Google OS using what are essentially the Google or Android versions of core iOS apps. Gmail and Sparrow for mail, Google voice search for Siri, Drive for cloud, Chrome instead of Safari, Google Books, Google Play Music, Google Voice, Latitude, and hopefully soon, Google Maps for iOS. That’s not including the handful of Google apps that also replace popular third-party iOS apps like YouTube, Currents, Google+, and Google Shopper.

The question is how loyal are iOS users to Google services? Could you live without Google apps on your iPhone? How many iPhone users could be swayed into buying an Android device if iOS completely lacked any presence from Google or a downgraded Google experience compared to Android? That question could be an important one in the months and years to come if Apple continues to limit Google from providing alternatives to core iOS features on its platforms.

Recent reports indicate insiders at Google are not too optimistic about getting an Maps app approved anytime soon, which could be a sign of things to come for future releases and updates to existing Google apps. Google has also run into delays with Apple for recent updates to Google Voice Search and the recently acquired Sparrow app. Releasing a slick Google Maps iOS app that brings back the old stock iOS Maps experience and then some could, for many users, be the final nail in the coffin for Apple’s new Maps app. That’s a big problem for Apple, and it could be the reason we don’t see the app approved before Apple vastly improves its own Maps experience.

Maps isn’t the only experience that Apple needs to worry about. Yesterday, we saw Siri go up against Google’s updated Google Search iOS app that now includes the Google Now-like voice recognition previously only available on Android devices. Apple approved that feature for now, but what happens when future Google app updates are met with the same tension Google is reportedly experiencing with getting its iOS Maps app approved?

Google has good reason to keep up its presence on iOS devices apart from simply getting iPhone and iPad users to use Google services. As of last year, it was still pulling in two-thirds of its mobile search traffic from iOS users. That could obviously change quickly if Apple ever decides to drop Google as the default search engine. Apple decided to drop the “Google” text from within the search bar on Safari in iOS 6 and change it to simply “Search”. It’s a subtle change, and Google is still the default search engine, but search could very well be Apple’s next victim in fighting Google on its own territory.

How tied to Google services are you? Would you continue using iPhone over Android if iOS completely lacked Google services?



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Jordan Kahn

November 6th

Apple

Mac

Sparrow’s iPhone 5 Update Spiked by Apple

When Apple launched the iPhone 5 in September, the dev team behind Sparrow was quick to announce that it would be updating its wonderful email client for the new, larger screen—but Apple has rejected the new version of the app. More »


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Jamie Condliffe

November 6th

Apple

Sparrow’s iPhone 5 Update Spiked by Apple

When Apple launched the iPhone 5 in September, the dev team behind Sparrow was quick to announce that it would be updating its wonderful email client for the new, larger screen—but Apple has rejected the new version of the app. More »


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Jamie Condliffe

November 6th

Apple

Apps & updates: Sparrow, Spotify, The New Yorker, Cloud, Bank of America, more

Other than the notable apps and updates below, developers of Shazam, the “9th most downloaded app of all time,” announced today its song recognition service has been used to identify over 5 billion songs. The five billionth tagged song on Shazam was “Blow Me One Last Kiss” by Pink. Head below for our full list of new apps and updates hitting the App Store today:

Sparrow for Mac version 1.6.3: Sparrow’s Mac App Store app was updated today with a number of performance enhancements and fixes. A full list of what’s new in version 1.6.3 is below:

- improved performance when loading huge conversations
- URL in subject can be clicked
- date and subject in headers can be selected
- improved avatar in message cells
- improved IMAP compatibility
- brazilian localization
- fixed progress indicator in message view
- fixed crash when loading some HTML messages
- fixed crash with POP accounts fixed

Spotify version 0.5.4: Spotify received a decent update today that brings the ability to show more stations for iPad users, fixes login issues for Facebook users, and adds stability improvements.

The New Yorker Magazine: Previously only available as an iPad app, The New Yorker is now bringing all of its magazine content to the iPhone with a new universal app available on the App Store now. To celebrate the release of the iPhone version, you will be able to get the Aug. 13 and Aug. 20 issues completely free (old issues are not accessible on the iPhone app).

Cloud version 1.5.4: The Mac App Store version of Cloud app received a small update that brings updated graphics with support for Retina displays and a fix for auto-uploading on Mountain Lion.

Bank of America- Mobile Banking version 4.0.392: As noted by MacRumors, the Bank of America iPhone app has added the ability to deposit checks up to $5,000 by snapping images of both sides from within the app. Also included in the update is push notifications for Bank of America alerts, a new feature to send money securely to any mobile number of email, and the ability to”choose the BankAmeriDealsTM you want, and earn cash back.”



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Jordan Kahn

August 7th

Apple

Mac

Apps & updates: Sparrow, Spotify, The New Yorker for iPhone, more

Other than the notable apps & updates below, developers of Shazam, the “9th most downloaded app of all time”, announced today its song recognition service has been used to identify over five billion songs. The five billionth tagged song on Shazam was “Blow Me One Last Kiss” by Pink. Head below for our full list of new apps hitting the App Store today:

Sparrow for Mac version 1.6.3: Sparrow’s Mac App Store app was updated today with a number of performance enhancements and fixes. A full list of what’ anew in version 1.6.3 is below:

- improved performance when loading huge conversations
- URL in subject can be clicked
- date and subject in headers can be selected
- improved avatar in message cells
- improved IMAP compatibility
- brazilian localization
- fixed progress indicator in message view
- fixed crash when loading some HTML messages
- fixed crash with POP accounts fixed

Spotify version 0.5.4: Spotify received a decent update today that brings the ability to show more stations for iPad users, fixes to login issues for Facebook users, and stability improvements.

The New Yorker Magazine: Previously only available as an iPad app, The New Yorker is now bringing all of its magazine content to the iPhone with a new universal app available on the App Store now. To celebrate the release of the iPhone version, you’ll be able to get the Aug. 13 & 20 issue completely free (however old issues won’t be accessible on the iPhone app).



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Jordan Kahn

August 7th

Apple

Mac

Minor app update roundup: djay for iPad, Turntable.fm, Tweetbot for iPad, more

By far the biggest app news today is the announcement that popular Mac and iOS email client Sparrow has been acquired by Google, but below is our usual list of all the notable apps and updates hitting the App Store:

djay for iPad version 1.5.1: djay for iPad received a significant updated today that brings support for Numark’s upcoming iDJ Pro controller for iPad arriving in September. The update also improves “turntable behavior for fast spinning,” slider accuracy, and some bug fixes including one for distortion issues with Split Output.

Turntable.fm version 2.1.1: Turtable.fm’s iPhone app received a small update today that allows users to log in with their turntable account instead of Facebook or Twitter. The update also added more avatars.

Tweetbot for iPad version 2.4.2: A small update for the extremely popular Tweetbot for Twitter client for iPad brings a number of bug fixes.

Netflix version 2.2.1: Another small update today goes to the Netflix iOS app with version 2.2.1 bringing much-needed stability improvements.



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Jordan Kahn

July 20th

Apple

Mac

Sparrow’s Awesome Email Clients Are Now Property of Google [Google]

Sparrow's email apps on OS X and iOS are wonderful, but we weren't the only ones noticing that. Google noticed too, and that's why they snatched up the small software developer. But what does it mean for the future of Sparrow's apps, and also Gmail? More »


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Adrian Covert

July 20th

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