Sparrow, a minimalist email program for Mac OS X, has been updated to beta version 7. This latest version includes several bug fixes including one that addresses the crashing problem plaguing Leopard users. Sparrow has also added several new features such as a progress bar, quick labels, Gmail shortcuts and support for plain text emails. The UI has been refreshed and now features an updated mail composition window and a new conversation view for your threaded messages.
Also included is a download-on-demand feature that lets users with a large volume of email limit synchronization between a Gmail account and the Sparrow client. When toggled on, this feature lets you clean out your mailbox online and then download only the most important messages on demand. As we reported earlier, Sparrow supports multiple Gmail accounts and support for other IMAP-based email accounts is expected in a future version.
The developers behind Sparrow intend to bring the app to the Mac App Store when it opens on January 6 and are working on two versions of this email client -- a free, ad-supported version and a paid version without ads. The current beta 7 version already includes advertisements but these ads can be switched off in the Advanced panel of the preferences.
Performance of the app is solid and the design in simple, yet pleasing. It is so refreshing to use a client that is dedicated solely to email and does not try to be the hub for all your online personas. The beta is available for free from Sparrow's website, so you can check it out for yourself.