Google grabs startup devoted to Apple gadget email

Jul 20, 2012
A French startup behind email applications for Apple gadgets has been bought by Google as the Internet titan increasingly tailors hit software to run on its rival's hardware.

A French startup behind email applications for Apple gadgets has been bought by Google as the Internet titan increasingly tailors hit software to run on its rival's hardware.

Sparrow co-founder and chief executive Dominique Leca announced on Friday that the Paris-based startup's team will go to work on Gmail, Google's free Web-based email service.

"We're joining the Gmail team to accomplish a bigger vision," Leca said. "While we'll be working on new things at Google, we will continue to make Sparrow available and provide support for our users."

A Sparrow email application for iPhones became available for purchase in Apple's online App Store in March, and a version of the software for has been available since early last year.

"The team has always put their users first by focusing on building a seamlessly simple and intuitive interface for their email client," a Google spokesperson said.

"We look forward to bringing them aboard the Gmail team, where they'll be working on new projects."

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition came as Google ramped up software offerings that compete with custom programs that Apple builds into its iPhones, and devices.

last month took the Web browser battle to iPads and iPhones with the release of Chrome software for popular Apple devices built with Safari online surfing programs at heart.

Safari remains the default browser used in Apple gadgets and the "engine" that Chrome or other Web-surfing applications rely on to function.

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User comments : 14

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Eikka
3 / 5 (7) Jul 20, 2012
I grow increasingly unwilling to have anything to do with Google and their user tracking policies and software they force you to install, but what can I do when all the software I use is being bought by Google one by one and subsequently turned into spyware with their "updater" software and other data collection methods?

I would submit to free and open source software to escape the problem, if it wasn't for the fact that it's exactly those projects that turn to Google in lack of sponsorhip since they can't sell their stuff because anybody can just up and copy it.

Just goes to prove the point that no effort is really free. If you don't pay money for it, you pay with something else - like your privacy.
Bowler_4007
2.6 / 5 (5) Jul 20, 2012
Apple are screwing over devs of the iphone/ipad, first the dev has to pay to get the dev kit, then Apple takes commission from sales and finally if the software isn't patented or copyrighted and Apple like it enough they piss on its dev by making their own version destroying that devs opportunity with that app and market, i applaude Google for fighting them, this software will probably gain protection from this and on top of that the devs get the money they worked so hard for.

Eikka you just look paranoid and foolish, if you have proof of spyware from Google then by all means show it to the world, if not then shut up
wealthychef
1 / 5 (1) Jul 21, 2012
This is such a fluff piece. Sounds like it was written by Google PR department. "... as the Internet titan increasingly tailors hit software ..."
Anghela
5 / 5 (1) Jul 21, 2012
I asked Sparrow team to add a support for GnuPG. Now, I can understand why this demand made by a lot of people never came out.
The visible sequins of an application shouldn't turn us away from the actually more important thing : use and subtain free software.
I've bought a Mac (MacOS, Apple Mail), an iPodTouch, I've bought Sparrow Mail 2, I've got a GMail account. And all I see is that I've put myself in a jail for pseudo-ergonomic purposes.
Eikka
3 / 5 (2) Jul 21, 2012
Eikka you just look paranoid and foolish, if you have proof of spyware from Google then by all means show it to the world, if not then shut up


Have you not noticed the Google update service running on your computer?
http://www.ghacks...dateexe/

The process googleupdate.exe will run automatically in the background and check Google servers frequently for software updates. Googleupdate.exe will send data to the Google server whenever it checks for updates. This data includes a unique ID number, languages, operating systems, version numbers and other install or update related details.


In and of itself that is not very alarming, but you have to remember that Google has tagged your machine with an unique ID, and sending that ID back home every now and then allows Google to follow your online activity even when your IP address changes.

You are no longer anonymous to services like Google Analytics that keep tabs on half the websites out there. They know.
Eikka
3 / 5 (2) Jul 21, 2012
Or what about this case:
https://bugs.laun.../ubuntu/ source/firefox-3.5/ bug/455068

Immediately after installing Ubuntu (karmic UNR beta), merely running the web browser causes the user to be tagged with a 2-year Google tracking cookie and a 1-year BBC.CO.UK cookie.


Bewia
4 / 5 (2) Jul 21, 2012
The next few years in IT will be affected with market war between Google and Apple in the shadow/environment of Microsoft. Microsoft could profit from this battle at the very end, but it could lost its position completely too.
Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (1) Jul 21, 2012
Google doesn't force Eikka to install any piece of software of course.

Her complaint is simply that Google has grown too big for her personal taste.

She is right that Google products reduce the capacity of open source software from competing, but that has always been one of the minor failure points of open source.

"I grow increasingly unwilling to have anything to do with Google and their user tracking policies and software they force you to install" - Eikka

Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (1) Jul 21, 2012
Freedom in all it's forms has always been, and will always be an illusion, or in the case of Libertarians and American Conservatives, a vapid delusion.

No man is an island.

There are always externalities.

"Just goes to prove the point that no effort is really free." - Eikka
Bowler_4007
5 / 5 (1) Jul 21, 2012
Eikka you just look paranoid and foolish, if you have proof of spyware from Google then by all means show it to the world, if not then shut up


Have you not noticed the Google update service running on your computer?
http://www.ghacks...dateexe/


There is no such updater on my machine, a unique code is meaningless by itself and if google are uploading my browsing history they are breaking the law, if you want to show me a code snippet from firefox added by google which does this then be my guest but i'm not holding my breath
Bowler_4007
not rated yet Jul 21, 2012
@eikka
----
ok i looked up the bug which is detailed here https://bugs.laun...fox-3.5/
bug number 455068 (search it, damn link won't paste)

and i found

Hmm. Disconnecting the Ethernet before the first run of Firefox produces a different start page:

file:///usr/share/ubuntu-artwork/home/index.html

and no cookies are there, when I look.


----
this goes to show that the "bug" isn't in the code it is in the default settings, so firefoxs code is trustworthy in this respect, if it is trustworthy for other thing i don't know, but you have got me thinking, oh and sorry for telling you to shut up, guess you can't read a book by its cover, bad google, bad bad bad...
Eikka
5 / 5 (1) Jul 22, 2012
Google doesn't force Eikka to install any piece of software of course.


Indeed, they don't.

They force me to stop using software because what I previously used is now bought and owned by Google, and the next update will come loaded with Google spyware.

There is no such updater on my machine, a unique code is meaningless by itself and if google are uploading my browsing history they are breaking the law


They don't need to upload your browsing history, because they are monitoring it at the other end of the internet. Half the websites out there use Google Analytics to generate statistics about website usage, which means that every time you visit such a website, Google gets a look at your IP and browser cookies/userstrings, referals (from what website you got there) etc.

Now, Google's problem is that all these can change, so the Google Updater basically tags your computer with a permanent ID that can be used to track these changes and confirm that it's still you.
Eikka
5 / 5 (1) Jul 22, 2012
Furthermore, when Google puts cookies in your browser to save settings in for the publicly available services that you don't need to log in to use, there's no technical reason why they'd need to add a GUID. They could just simply save the settings anonymously.

But they don't, because Google makes money from advertising, so it kinda needs to build up and maintain an accurate personal profile of you as an individual. The better they can target ads to you, the more the advertisers are willing to pay for it, which is at direct odds with the "don't be evil" principle that Google claims to have.

Well, they're not being evil per se. They just don't believe in your privacy because it's bad for profit. It doesn't really harm anyone - at least until someone starts abusing the databases.

Bowler_4007
not rated yet Jul 22, 2012
Furthermore, when Google puts cookies in your browser to save settings in for the publicly available services that you don't need to log in to use, there's no technical reason why they'd need to add a GUID. They could just simply save the settings anonymously.
...too long to quote

you know i used to have my browser setup so that neither flash or javascript could run without my say so and all cookies were blocked unless i allowed them, might go back to doing that with the addition of java app control, although i originally did it to protect myself from sites i wasn't familiar with, i don't like the idea that some company is spying on me its a bit creepy, you are right that googles ad campaign doesn't do any harm its just for targeted ads, but i doubt they're building complete profiles of people for what purpose would they need such data?