There used to be an email app called Sparrow. It looked nice, it was getting good reviews. Quite a few people were using it. Sparrow had a bright future.
Then, yesterday, the Sparrow developers announced that Google had acquired their company, and from now on they’d all be working on GMail:
We’d like to extend a special thanks to all of our users who have supported us, advised us, given us priceless feedback and allowed us to build a better mail application. While we’ll be working on new things at Google, we will continue to make Sparrow available and provide support for our users.
Google plans to keep selling Sparrow (OS X version, $9.99; iOS version, $2.99), to anyone fool enough to buy it; but there will be no further development work.
I suppose I’m glad the Sparrow developers got their big payday. They worked hard, they deserve it. But abandoning their users is rather shabby of them.
Not only that – the next time a small-but-plucky company releases an interesting app with a bright future, I will regard them and their product with more caution than before. Maybe even a little suspicion. I will think: What’s to stop you clowns from selling out to Google, six months from now, and leaving me hanging?
(Me? I thought about switching from Mail.app to Sparrow, but somehow never got around to it. Saved by procrastination, I suppose.)