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Ask HN: would anyone be interested in a better Sparrow for mac?
9 points by waseemsadiq 1782 days ago | hide | past | web | 5 comments | favorite

My name is Waseem, I built www.inbox2.com a couple of years ago. I have not released any updates to that client since 1.5 years. I still have a new download every 5 minutes and people are still loving it (which astonishes me).

I ended up switching all my stuff to Macs and iPads so I cant use my neat Windows client myself, let alone work on it.

I ended up open sourcing the client (see the announcement and discussion here: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3083935), hoping someone else would pick up development but unfortunately no-one did (even with its 54 forks on GitHub).

I am currently using Sparrow (http://www.sparrowmailapp.com/) but we all know what happened to that and new updates to the client might be out of the question.

So I was just thinking about whether to do a Mac version of the Inbox2 client (there is a host of ideas that I have never implemented). If I did a kickstarter (or used any of the other funding platforms out there), would you help fund this thing?

I think it would be about a 100K project which is my time + hiring a designer + some extra development capacity for about 12-16 months (building these things takes really really long).

I dont want to make any money off this as I have been down that road before and its hard to turn this into a sustainable business and also most importantly it kills innovation. I want to build a client that actually helps you to get shit done and is not just another better looking mail.app clone and makes some cash. This thing will be open-source from the start.

I havent yet decided wether I will do it or not, that kind of depends on the reactions I get from my target audience, which is you HN ;-)

So what do you think?

I still use Sparrow as well and love it. So yes, if a similar solution was created and supported then I'd be all over it. Especially if it had support for Rapportive! :)

I still use Sparrow and I love it. If you can create something simple, intuitive, and minimalist then I'd be interested to hear more.

What would you do better than Sparrow?

For starters simple integration with your social feed, just for quick scanning.

Then there are all these next-gen features: - In Inbox2 I built something Rapportive like but used your social connections (mind you that was almost 3 years ago), that can defnately be improved with services such as FullContact now adays

- I did a priority inbox type of thing that IMO still performs better then Google priority inbox, I never released it tho and its not part of the open source codebase as well. The difference was that it did ranking based on the social relationship you had with a person (so even counting things like FB messages, tweets, etc).

- Best of all is Inbox2's search feature tho, its people centric. The idea is that generally you might not be able to find back an email based on keywords but you almost always know the person or the company that sent you the email. Inbox2 alsready has the first iteration of this feature, search doesnt start at fulltext but al the person that sent you the email. Sparrow has something kind of where you can search on emails but the way I built it was on aggregated profiles of people (so even if you had 4 email addresses and 1 facebook profile it would still know it was you).

Then there are also all these next-gen features around improving email productivity. Just an example:

- Marking an email that I send as a task. We often send emails witch are like "hey can you do this for me", then we are at the mercy of the other end actually actually sending us a "done" reply. yes I know about asana and all these other things but fact of the matter is that most tas assignment STILL happens in email.

My client would allow you to mark an email as a task, the receiving end woud actually see a task popup and our email clients would be able to communicate with each other around the status of that task.

Oh and also check out the built in GTD functinality, where you have built in buttons for "todo", "read later" and "maybe someday" type of things.

like sparrow. Minimalist not to much distraction. Perfect...

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