Why Sparrow doesn't do push (yet) and how can you help?
There are 2 ways to deliver notifications on an iOS application:
On our side: if Sparrow was to do Push today, we would have to store your credentials (login/password) on our servers to frequently poll your accounts, and send you notifications.
This is a responsibility we're not ready to take. As a startup focused on iOS/OS X development, we do not have the skills to secure your data on our servers and we do not want to put sensitive information at risk. That's why Sparrow iPhone 1.0 doesn't do push.
Directly from your mail provider: on Sparrow for Mac, your credentials are secure because we communicate directly with your mail provider via SSL.
The difference between the Mac and the iPhone is the Mac version is awake at all times. On the iPhone, iOS systematically suspends all apps activity after 10 minutes maximum making it impossible to send you notifications.
However, Apple provides an API that allows an app to be woken up in case of a network event meaning it is virtually connected at all times like Sparrow on the Mac. For example, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) apps take advantages of this specific API so you can receive calls even when the app isn't opened.
This solution is the most secure because Sparrow iPhone will be directly communicating with your mail providers via secured protocols.
We submitted a first version of Sparrow iPhone using this API but it was rejected.
How can you help?
Apple's App Store policy is constantly evolving. The existence of Sparrow iPhone proves it. A year ago, the app could have been rejected for 'duplicating a native functionality'.
Simply saying that you would like Apple to reconsider its position regarding apps that could be granted the access to this API would help a lot.
If many of you express their interest in such a feature, we are confident that the Apple validation team could revise its position.
Enter your mail address in the form below. We will send you a unique mail if Apple approves Sparrow with the API.
Thank you for your support,
The Sparrow Team.