Sparrow wishlist

by Heather Young

I really like Sparrow, the Mac email client. When I started using it, I wasn’t entirely sure an email client was all that necessary for my needs, but Sparrow’s attractive, user-friendly design won me over, and it’s become an essential park of my workflow. It doesn’t hurt that it’s generally a pleasure to use, as much as any email client can be a pleasure to use. But perfection is an impossible dream in this dysfunctional universe of ours, so I have a little wishlist of things that would make me that much more delighted with Sparrow.

•  Sparrow makes it so very easy to switch between email accounts. The downside is that you have to be extra careful about what email account you’re on before you fire off an email. Yes, the account you’re using will be listed on the email, but if you’re sending dozens of emails a day, it’s all too easy to ignore that little bit of text listing the current account. I wish the account outgoing account was more clearly defined in some way — maybe displaying the account avatar, or color-coding. Or maybe the ability to set up confirmation before sending on different accounts. Just… something. I live in perpetual fear that I’ll accidentally email a client from the email address I use for mailing lists (named after a weird-ass Guided by Voices song I’d have a hard time explaining to my clients, for extra awkwardness).

•  I like to think I’m reasonably careful before hitting the send button on an email; nevertheless, on occasion, I do need to stop an email from being sent after I’ve foolishly already clicked the send button. Sparrow doesn’t currently provide any means to stop sending, so my current brilliant solution is to cut off my internet connection.

•  Sparrow is so attractively and smartly designed that it surprises me that the way it displays attachments is so awkward: it provides a rather limited number of characters, so more often than not, the file names of my attachments is cut off. When you’re emailing zip files all day long like I am, it’s important to make sure you’re emailing the zips and not the originals, so having the file name truncated so you can’t see the extension is super annoying.

So, to sum up here: Sparrow, I love you, but I wish you’d do a bit more to protect me from my own stupidity.

UPDATE 7/20/12: Well, that was a short-lived fantasy. Sparrow's been bought by Google so they can use the Sparrow team on their own projects, which means there will no further development of Sparrow. Another day, another reason to resent Google.