I mentioned the other day Bjango’s philosophy of the best method to design a desktop app is to imagine you’re building them for iOS. Well, it looks like there are some like-minded developers out there looking to rethink the Mac email client.
Sparrow is definitely taking cues from not only the iPad’s Mail app, but also a highly popular Mac Twitter client — Tweetie. Sparrow currently only works for Gmail accounts, but it looks like integration with Yahoo! Mail, MobileMe, and other IMAP providers.
Sparrow is a very compelling email client. It has a minimalist approach initially, showing just a Tweetie-style accounts and mailbox sidebar and an iOS-style message list. However, you can click a button and expand the window to show a preview pane.
If you don’t use the preview pane, you’ll notice that the app has a lavish amount of Core Animation. Double click a message and it ghosts in. Close the message, and it fades away with a subtle zoom. Same thing happens when open the app’s preferences.
Even though the app is currently in beta, it really feels like something right out of Cupertino. I would love to see Apple revamp Mac OS X’s Mail app like this.
Sparrow is a free download for now, though the developers would be crazy not to charge for this at the time of final release.
Go ahead and give it a whirl.