Email service for iOS and Mac
Google Cemetery
Acquisition Flu


Sparrow was an email service for iOS and Mac. It launched on February 9, 2011, and became both the top paid and top-grossing app within 24 hours.

It was innovative as it offered a simplified, user-friendly interface and features such as keyboard shortcuts, drag-and-drop attachments, Dropbox and support for uploading files, and Gmail labels.

Google Sparrow


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Cause of Failure

Google acquired Sparrow in 2012 and initially ensured users of the app that it would remain available and fully supported. However, the whole deal was more of an acquisition of technology and talent.

Sparrow’s team started working in Google, especially on Inbox, and the technology got slowly integrated into Gmail. Google never released another update for Mac, and the iOS 7 upgrade was the last one. The app finally disappeared from the market in February 2013.

Shortly after Google acquired it, some experts in the field predicted the app’s eventually being discontinued. The mobile app market was changing, and apps, such as Sparrow, which relied on a one-time purchase fee, no longer necessarily meant a sustainable business model. 

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