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Sparrow Lite 1.6.3

Minimalist email program for those who don’t need a fancy interface or loads of extra features 

by Bob Thornton

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License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Mac OS X
Requirements:

Google Mail account that’s IMAP activated 

Languages: English, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 08 August 2012
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 925
Developer: Sparrow
RSS News Feed: http://blog.sparrowmailapp.com/rss
Twitter Feed: http://twitter.com/#!/sparrowmailapp
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Sparrow Lite
Sparrow offers a great way of keeping in touch with Gmail

Email programs are continually evolving, adding new features and redesigning themselves to keep pace with the competition. Over time, they can find themselves bloated and over-complicated to use – after all, the main purpose of an email program is simply to read, compose and reply to email. You could, of course, collect your email through your browser using a web-based account like Gmail or Hotmail, but that’s almost too much effort too.

This is where Sparrow comes in. This program aims to give you a clean, clear and uncluttered interface for reading your mail: it displays all your mail in a single, narrow window, with all the controls you need provided as a row of buttons across the top of the window (for composing, replying, archiving and deleting) and a further row of buttons down the left-hand column for navigating and managing your inbox.

You have two options for viewing messages: you can enable the preview pane as shown in the screenshot, or double-click a message to open it in a new window if you wish to keep the interface clear and uncluttered.

Sparrow Lite is a free version of the app which is limited to working with a single Gmail account and it is supported by advertisements.

Sparrow Lite 1.6.3 ships with these improvements:

- 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

Verdict:

It may sport a minimalist interface, but Sparrow has all you need for streamlined email checking – only downside is that it’s currently Gmail-only. 

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

WhatsApp Messenger 2.12.1

Free Full Commercial Software

WhatsApp Messenger is the world's most popular instant messaging app for smartphones.

You can use it to send and receive text and voice messages, photos, videos, even call your friends in other countries, and because it uses your phone's internet connection it might not cost you anything at all (depending on whether you'll pay data charges).

It's easy to set up and use. There's no need to create and remember new account names or pins because it works with your phone number, and uses your regular address book to find and connect you with friends who use WhatsApp already.

You can talk one-to-one or in group chats, and because you're always logged in there's no way to miss messages. Even if your phone is turned off, WhatsApp will save your messages and display them as soon as you're back online.

There's plenty more (location sharing, contact exchange, message broadcasting) and the app is free for a year, currently $0.99/ year afterwards.

Version 2.12.1 brings:
 - WhatsApp Calling: Call your friends and family using WhatsApp for free, even if they’re in another country. WhatsApp calls use your phone’s Internet connection rather than your cellular plan’s voice minutes. Data charges may apply.

[...]
Value:
Free
Rating: