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Sparrow 1.4 includes cloud storage and performance, interface improvements

05 October 2011, Joe Cassels

Sparrow, the majestically minimal mail app for Mac OS has received a bit of a revamp in its latest release at version 1.4. Both its user interface and its back end have been significantly improved to deliver enhanced performance and more intuitive controls.

The latest release also provides integration with CloudApp, the file sharing service enabling you to link to attachments so recipients only download them when they decide to. Your attachments won’t cause a bottleneck when fetching email which should make you more popular with all your contacts.

This feature, which needs to be activated in Sparrow Preferences, makes adding an attachment to a message quick and easy. Just click and drag the desired file into the body of the message. It will then be added to CloudApp and is replaced by a download link. It’s quick, easy and very elegant.

Another pleasing improvement in the interface is the ability to display messages as conversations, like in Gmail, so that the older messages appear at the top of the thread. To enable this, just go to Sparrow Preferences and tick the relevant box. With a nod to many social media apps, Sparrow also provides pull to refresh mail fetching. Drag and release the top message to perform a send/receive.

Other useful tweaks to the user interface include providing a default image for threads in conversation view, adding the ability to resize windows and setting default sizes for compose windows and the message list as well as setting a minimal size for windows. Beneath the hood, there’s a new draft management system which enables you to send mail faster and synchronise your mailboxes more efficiently. It also provides better behaviour with an intermittent internet connection or offline working. Bug fixes include better Zoho compatibility and sorting out a hanging issue under Lion.

Sparrow 1.4 is available for download as a trial for Macs running OS X 10.x or later. The full version costs $9.99.

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