After writing that piece yesterday about Sparrow, which I still stand by, something was pointed out to me by someone very smart that should have been obvious. Frankly I’m kind of irritated that I didn’t see this clearly yesterday, but I thank them for helping me see.
Although it has support for other IMAP clients and, in the end, POP clients, Sparrow is essentially, at a basic level, a conduit for the Gmail pipe.
The simple fact of the matter is that if your pipe comes to you looking to buy you out, you have no choice, you must sell. They have come looking for you because they’re going to buy a client, one way or another. If it’s not you, it’s someone else that does what you do and you’re done for anyway.
That adage goes for Twitter, Facebook, even Apple or other companies that don’t have a traditional pipe but control the platform you build on. There is an insane amount of leverage there that can’t be ignored.
I’m sure there are those out there that would fight the good fight when approached by the people that own the data flowing through their apps, but they are few and far in between, and that’s a bloody battle indeed.