How long until Google integrates Sparrow into Gmail?

Google Acquires Sparrow
The five-person, Paris-based Sparrow team will likely now head to Mountain View.

Tired of a less than stellar experience with Gmail on iOS or Apple's Mac Mail application?

You're in luck.

Sparrow – the third-party creators of a delightful email client for both iOS and OS X – announced today that it has been acquired by Google.

Sparrow's Future

The Paris-based company was picked up for under $25 million and, according to The Verge's Thomas Houston, there wasn't any kind of bidding war for the five-person company.

"We'd like to extend a special thanks to all of our users who have supported us, advised us, given us priceless feedback and allowed us to build a better mail application," wrote CEO Dom Leca in a message posted to Sparrow's website. "While we'll be working on new things at Google, we will continue to make Sparrow available and provide support for our users."

What's next for Sparrow?

For the people, it's likely that Google will move the team out to its Mountain View, California headquarters and integrate their talents into Gmail as a whole.

Sparrow, the app, isn't getting its plug pulled, but don't expect to see a ton of resources being shoveled its way going forward.

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

Just what that means for Gmail itself – especially in relation to stronger desktop and mobile clients for the service – remains to be seen.

There's no timeline for how long it might take Google to integrate Sparrow's skill with desktop email clients into Gmail itself, and no projections as to what this kind of an integration might even look like.

Unhappy Users

Some Sparrow fans, like Ars Technica's Sean Gallagher, are less than thrilled by Google's purchase.

"I guess Sparrow users can take cold comfort in knowing that at least the software will continue to be patched for a while, and it won't become just the funding model for the next version of Facebook Messenger," Gallagher writes.

"But it's still bad customer service on Google's part. Whether or not Sparrow lives on in some future GMail client that is recognizable as a Sparrow descendant, Google has made it a too-frequent habit to turn off or shut down the products it acquires and leave users with a bad taste in their mouths," he adds.

Google has acquired more than 100 different companies since 2001, picking up more than 15 in the past 12 months alone.