Replacing core apps is no mean feat, but Sparrow has done a fantastic job of replacing the Mail.app on my iPhone. I really, really love its Gmail-style e-mail management, and I find its search capabilities are about 10,000 times better than what Apple has implemented in Mail. But while I am already convinced that Sparrow […]
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Two Days With The Sparrow+ Jailbreak Tweak

Sparrow+

Replacing core apps is no mean feat, but Sparrow has done a fantastic job of replacing the Mail.app on my iPhone. I really, really love its Gmail-style e-mail management, and I find its search capabilities are about 10,000 times better than what Apple has implemented in Mail. But while I am already convinced that Sparrow is the go-to mail app on my iPhone, iOS 5 has required some elbow twisting to come around to the same conclusion. In other words, the inability to make a third-party app replace Apple’s own apps as the system defaults is disappointing.
However, after jailbreaking my 4S, I decided to enlist the help of Sparrow+, a free tweak available on Cydia, to convince iOS 5 that Sparrow really is the default mail client.

Sparrow+ does two things: it changes the default mail app to Sparrow and activates free push notifications for Sparrow e-mails (Sparrow Push). This prospect is obviously very exciting stuff for a keen Sparrow user like myself, but after two days of testing, I’ve decided that Sparrow+ isn’t working out quite as expected.

Having Sparrow as the system default for e-mails is awesome – I’ve had no issues with this. All of the problems seem to stem from the push notifications, which seem to lower battery life (50% to 10% over just two-and-a-half hours) and increase the overall running temperature of my iPhone. It was also a little disappointing to find out that banners don’t work yet, but I’m sure that will be sorted out eventually. I’ve read that Sparrow Push uses IMAP idle to accomplish its background e-mail checks, but the cost in battery life seems inordinately high. So, as of last night, Sparrow+ is no longer installed on my device.

I’ve been keeping very, very few tweaks on my device. Unibar, f.lux, and Zephyr are the only jailbreak-related things running on my iPhone, and uninstalling Sparrow+ seems to have restored the device to proper working order. Battery life is back to normal, and the back of my iPhone no longer feels warm to the touch.

I’ve decided that I can live without Sparrow being the default mail app for now. It’s not as important for Sparrow to be a default mail app as it is for a third-party browser, like Grazing Browser, to replace Safari. Apple’s mail sheet, which shows up when I share items via e-mail from within an app, works well enough for me. I really just want Sparrow for its excellent organizing features and fantastic universal inbox implementation. As such, I’m fine with having to tap on the Sparrow icon on my home screen to check mail. It’s okay that it’s not the default (though I’ll be looking at the paid push notifications when they’re made available).

 

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