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Google acquires Sparrow, iOS and Mac mail app

Google has snapped up a native email client for iOS, so expect Gmail on Apple devices to vastly improve soon.

Google has taken over a popular mail app for Mac and iOS named Sparrow. Sparrow's CEO Dom Leca made the announcement in a blog post.

Google paid $25 million to acquire Sparrow, and the currrent staff are set to be absorbed into the Gmail team. Sparrow has a huge following, and is known as one of the better-designed mail apps for Mac and iOS.

Gmail support on iOS has been criticised in the past, so expect an overhaul which will build on a lot of Sparrow's knowhow -- or perhaps more accurately, a wholesale ransacking of Sparrow's features. For example, Sparrow integrates Facebook into its inbox, showing profile pictures of who's emailing you right next to their messages. It wouldn't surprise me if Google did the same but with Google Plus pictures.

Fans of Sparrow need not worry -- it'll still be available in its current form, though it won't receive updates.

"We will continue to make available our existing products, and we will provide support and critical updates to our users," Leca said in the blog post. "However, as we'll be busy with new projects at Google, we do not plan to release new features for the Sparrow apps."

Leca also said in the message: "Now we're joining the Gmail team to accomplish a bigger vision -- one that we think we can better achieve with Google."

It makes sense for the company, making it financially secure and getting it past the wobbly first steps of being a start-up. But the downside is we won't see a Sparrow app for the iPad. Google could potentially refresh its current Gmail one to incorporate some of Sparrow's functionality though.

It's good news for Sparrow, but do you think it's a shame it isn't staying independent? Will you miss proper updates from Sparrow? Or will you be switching to the new Gmail app that'll inevitably be released? Let me know in the comments, or on Facebook.