Sparrow for iPhone is a new mail client that has recently caused quite a stir in the iOS world. The gestures incorporated within the app, and the way multiple accounts are handled make Sparrow a great alternative to the stock Mail app. While the app was in its beta testing phase, it came with push notifications and seemed to be winning the battle against the stock Mail app, but that’s when Apple decided to step in and take away notifications from the app. This reduced Sparrow’s functionality in a huge way, and many people labeled it useless. Now, however, if you have a jailbroken iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, it is possible to use Sparrow the way it was meant to be used. Sparrow Push is a Cydia tweak that adds push notifications and update badges to Sparrow. Read on to know more about this extremely useful yet free tweak.
Sparrow Push is available in the BigBoss repo in the Cydia store. After its installation, don’t look for any Settings menu or Springboard icon, as the tweak works without either of those. Just make sure that you have the Sparrow client already installed on your iDevice before you give Sparrow Push a try. Once the tweak is installed, Sparrow will start receiving push notifications for incoming email, displaying a badge over its icon and causing the device to vibrate. In addition, it will add a new option within Sparrow’s settings from where it is possible to toggle push notifications on or off.
There are a few limitations though, like the fact that the tweak will only work if the app is running (even if only in background). Also, note that you will get an ad from the developer the first time you launch Sparrow after the tweak has been installed, but there is an option to dismiss it permanently.
So, if you have a jailbroken iDevice, and have never even heard of Sparrow, do give the app and this tweak a try. You are sure to find it a worthy match for the stock Mail app in iOS once the push notification problem has been solved by Sparrow Push.
Update: Despite several promises from the developer, Sparrow still has not got push notifications (thanks to Apple’s App Store policies), so the tweak remains as useful as always, specially owing to its own updates that keep it compatible with newer versions of Sparrow.