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Mark Striebeck, Google’s Engineering Manager for Gmail, left a public note in Google+ yesterday letting everyone know that Google is already working on integrating Google+ into Gmail. Specifically, he cites “several Gmail / Google+ integrations” in the works. At the same time, he wants to use Google+’s new Hangouts group chat feature to get ideas and feedback on how the integration should work. Tomorrow on Google+, Striebeck’s team will hold a brainstorming session.

Awesome. But why are the Reader team not doing this? It seems like a natural fit with Google+. Maybe Sparks is their supplement for the time being.

Today we’re excited to graduate three more features from the experimental testing ground of Gmail Labs. Superstars, Nested Labels, and Advanced IMAP Controls are now first-class citizens in the Gmail world, thanks largely to your feedback. We’re also retiring the Google Search box lab which was redundant with the “Search the Web” button that’s already in Gmail.

These all look pretty interesting, I don’t know whether it’s more telling of me as a person or the Labs system itself that I didn’t know about these high profile labs features until they actually graduated, admittedly I use Sparrow more compared to the Gmail web interface now because it is a native Mac app, but I have checked out the Gmail Labs section many times in the past. Nevertheless, I think I might play around with the web interface for a couple of days to use Nested Labels and Superstars which both look especially interesting to me, i’ll try and report back after that.

That’s a Phoney Sparrow!

matthewrex:

I tried Sparrow for Mac for the first time yesterday, and I’m smitten. It’s easily my favorite Mail client. Considering my email goes through Google Apps, this works absolutely perfectly. It looks great, it’s super fast and lightweight, and…well…that’s enough, isn’t it?

Now that it’s earned a spot in my dock, I obviously had to make a Phoney icon. So here it is. Enjoy!

Download .Zip

Beautiful! 

Was reluctant about bigging up the new release of Sparrow (Beta 7) until a crashing issue was fixed - didn’t affect everyone, but as usual, it did affect me - but now, one hour after the issue emerged, a fix is out. Impressive ‘eh?
If you haven’t heard of Sparrow until now I have no idea where you’ve been the last month or two. It’s an amazing and truly beautiful mail client for Gmail (with work on IMAP support apparently beginning in January) and it’s actually what influenced me to ‘get with the times’ and switch to Gmail. It’s got all the features you’d expect from a Gmail client including starring and labels packaged in a wonderful interface, a wonderful interface thats got a snazzy facelift in this latest release.
If you haven’t tried it already, go on, I dare you. There’s nothing to lose: it’s free. Like the guys behind Sparrow said ‘Merry Christmas to you all and happy new year!’, this is my Christmas present to you!
sparrowmail:

Sparrow Beta 7
It’s Christmas time and we are both proud and glad to offer you Sparrow Beta 7. Our little bird had a serious face lift and performance boost.
Feature
Progress Bar
Gmail shortcuts 
Quick labeling
Quick Labeling and Archiving
Smart recipient auto-complete
‘Download message on demand’ option
Auto-restart on Menu Bar/Dock settings
Quicklook in the compose window
Horizontal scrollbar
Plain text option
Shortcuts
⌘-L Quick labelling
⇧-⌘-L Quick labeling & Archiving
⌘-K  to insert link in the compose window
General improvements
Message list scroll performance
Category/account switch performance
Auto-detect SMTP port failures 
UI
New compose window design
New conversation view design
Message list re-design
Bug fix
Printing bug
⌘↵ shortcut fix
Search crash
Sync issues
Forwarded message not shown
Dragging selection scroll
Labels randomly turns black
Encoding issues
Empty message bug
URL not converted to link
Scattered space
And a gazillion other bugs 
‘Download on demand’ in the Advanced Preference Panel will allow Gmail users with large mailboxes to limit the synchronization between Sparrow and their account.
Sparrow is also becoming Mac AppStore compliant and resource location have been changed. You will now find your mail database in LIbrary/ApplicationSupport/Sparrow and your preferences file in Library/Preferences named com.sparrowmailapp.sparrow.plist.
We are also testing advertising in this version of Sparrow. Of course, you’ll be able to turn the ads on & off at your convenience in the Preferences Advanced panel by clicking on ‘Disable Ads’.
Grab your Sparrow Beta 7 copy here or simply ‘Check for update’. 
Merry Christmas to you all and happy new year!

Was reluctant about bigging up the new release of Sparrow (Beta 7) until a crashing issue was fixed - didn’t affect everyone, but as usual, it did affect me - but now, one hour after the issue emerged, a fix is out. Impressive ‘eh?

If you haven’t heard of Sparrow until now I have no idea where you’ve been the last month or two. It’s an amazing and truly beautiful mail client for Gmail (with work on IMAP support apparently beginning in January) and it’s actually what influenced me to ‘get with the times’ and switch to Gmail. It’s got all the features you’d expect from a Gmail client including starring and labels packaged in a wonderful interface, a wonderful interface thats got a snazzy facelift in this latest release.

If you haven’t tried it already, go on, I dare you. There’s nothing to lose: it’s free. Like the guys behind Sparrow said ‘Merry Christmas to you all and happy new year!’, this is my Christmas present to you!

sparrowmail:

Sparrow Beta 7

It’s Christmas time and we are both proud and glad to offer you Sparrow Beta 7. Our little bird had a serious face lift and performance boost.

Feature

  • Progress Bar
  • Gmail shortcuts 
  • Quick labeling
  • Quick Labeling and Archiving
  • Smart recipient auto-complete
  • ‘Download message on demand’ option
  • Auto-restart on Menu Bar/Dock settings
  • Quicklook in the compose window
  • Horizontal scrollbar
  • Plain text option

Shortcuts

  • ⌘-L Quick labelling
  • ⇧-⌘-L Quick labeling & Archiving
  • ⌘-K  to insert link in the compose window

General improvements

  • Message list scroll performance
  • Category/account switch performance
  • Auto-detect SMTP port failures 

UI

  • New compose window design
  • New conversation view design
  • Message list re-design

Bug fix

  • Printing bug
  • ⌘↵ shortcut fix
  • Search crash
  • Sync issues
  • Forwarded message not shown
  • Dragging selection scroll
  • Labels randomly turns black
  • Encoding issues
  • Empty message bug
  • URL not converted to link
  • Scattered space
  • And a gazillion other bugs 

‘Download on demand’ in the Advanced Preference Panel will allow Gmail users with large mailboxes to limit the synchronization between Sparrow and their account.

Sparrow is also becoming Mac AppStore compliant and resource location have been changed. You will now find your mail database in LIbrary/ApplicationSupport/Sparrow and your preferences file in Library/Preferences named com.sparrowmailapp.sparrow.plist.

We are also testing advertising in this version of Sparrow. Of course, you’ll be able to turn the ads on & off at your convenience in the Preferences Advanced panel by clicking on ‘Disable Ads’.

Grab your Sparrow Beta 7 copy here or simply ‘Check for update’. 

Merry Christmas to you all and happy new year!