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Hands on with Mailbird, a fast, slick, Sparrow-inspired email client for Windows

Ian Paul | April 3, 2013
Windows users pining for a mail client similar to Sparrow for OS X have had their wishes granted courtesy of Mailbird, a new email client for the Windows desktop.

Mailbird's apps are, to be blunt, pretty lame. They're nothing more than basic Web views for the most part. Calendar, for example, opens the Web-based version of Google Calendar and the Facebook app shows--you guessed it--the Facebook.com website.

Incidentally, Mailbird appears to be incorporate Google Chrome in some way. When I tried out the Google Drive app in Mailbird, the Drive website notified me that I was using an outdated version of Chrome and offered to upgrade my browser. Facebook's security login alerts also notified me I was using Chrome when I logged into Mailbird's Facebook app.

Conclusion

Mailbird performed fairly well in my tests and was very fast at retrieving messages. I only ran into trouble when using the app add-ons. Several times, I had to restart Mailbird when an app froze and once Mailbird crashed on its own when I switched between add-ons in quick succession.

Nevertheless, it's hard to recommend Mailbird in its current beta state. While the software appears to have a bright future ahead of it, the bare-bones service and account support limit Mailbird to Gmail users with a single email address--a major, major drawback.

Even now, however, Mailbird offers a fast, solid no-frills email experience. Power users might be slightly disappointed by the lack of features, but I'm excited to see how the final version shakes out.

 

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