Google purchases iPhone Gmail client Sparrow

Posted by Randy Shulman
July 20, 2012 10:06 PM |

The New York Times is reporting that Google is purchasing Sparrow, an app that allows people to use Gmail on the iPhone. There was no disclosure of purchase price, but sources estimate it's in the millions.

The news was reported first in a blog post from Sparrow's CEO, Dom Leca.

We're excited to announce that Sparrow has been acquired by Google!
We care a lot about how people communicate, and we did our best to provide you with the most intuitive and pleasurable mailing experience.
Now we're joining the Gmail team to accomplish a bigger vision — one that we think we can better achieve with Google.
We’d like to extend a special thanks to all of our users who have supported us, advised us, given us priceless feedback and allowed us to build a better mail application. While we’ll be working on new things at Google, we will continue to make Sparrow available and provide support for our users.
We had an amazing ride and can't thank you enough.
Full speed ahead!

Meanwhile, Quentin Hardy and Claire Cain Miller of the Times's technology blog, Bits, speculated,

It's see important ways that Google can use Sparrow to gain a bigger presence on the iPhone at a time when Apple is trying to move Google away from the iPhone experience by building Apple versions of things like maps.

If iPhone users can get a good version of Gmail via Sparrow, and that version opens Google Maps when the customer taps an address in the e-mail, Google has a new beachhead on Apple. What else, including a browser, might open through a communications app?

We'll see if Sparrow helps Google's Gmail take flight.

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