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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: 1012
Developer: Sparrow
RSS News Feed: http://blog.sparrowmailapp.com/rss
Twitter Feed: http://twitter.com/#!/sparrowmailapp
Back up your data with Acronis True Image 2016 with a 1-PC LIFETIME license, only $29.99, saving 40%, from store.downloadcrew.com
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

Spektrel Art 1.0.0

Free Full Commercial Software

Spektrel Art is a stand-alone program and Photoshop plugin which transforms digital photos into "magical art that glimmers and gleams with intersecting lines of tapered light".

What does that mean? Essentially it applies a configurable mix of effects, enhancing edges, smoothing backgrounds and emphasizing colours. Take a look at the thumbnail for one example, and the official product page has more.

Spektral Art works much like any similar tool. Open an image, click one of the thumbnails to apply a particular preset, or click a few buttons and drag some sliders to fine-tune the results.

There's surprising scope for variation, too. For example, just switching from the "Light" to "Dark" theme can transform a bright and friendly image into something dark and sinister, at least in some cases (results vary depending on the source image).

Please note, the demo version doesn't allow images to be saved.

SPECIAL OFFER: as we write, the developer is offering Spektral Art for free. The offer expires August 29th. Please note that you must provide your name, address and phone number to receive your free license.

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Value:
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