updated 05:55 pm EST, Wed December 7, 2011
Improved search, blocking images also added
Sparrow, a lightweight IMAP e-mail client that boasts a clean, minimalist style and a variety of views to please users has grown to version 1.5, which adds Dropbox support in addition to CloudApp support to make attaching files faster and easier. The new version also offers the option to block images to help with spam control (images can be restored on a case-by-case basis) and a "dramatically improved" search function.
The program has won a reputation for also being one of the better independent clients for supporting GMail accounts. In addition to standard support, the app also supports labels, stars, priority inboxes, and other features normally only found in the web client. It also works with other IMAP services including iCloud/MobileMe, Yahoo's IMAP service, AOL and any other IMAP-based server.
When attaching a file by dragging and dropping, Sparrow now automatically uploads the file to either CloudApp or Dropbox (if the user desires) and generates the appropriate link in the body of the email, avoiding any chance that the message will be too large to receive. The app also features an integrated "quick reply" function, similar to what is seen on iCloud's webmail portal. Sparrow also supports email aliases (sending e-mails from different addresses).
The program can sit in a small view letting users know at a glance what new mail has arrived, and can be expanded on demand to the tri-column layout now seen in many e-mail programs. Sparrow also threads conversations (including replies) and uses Facebook Connect to assign pictures to senders and recipients. It has Growl support for notifications.
Sparrow is available in a free, ad-supported version as well as an ad-free full version for $10. It is available directly from the developer or on the Mac App Store. An iOS version of Sparrow is currently in development.