There can be no denying that Apple puts a lot of effort into the native apps that it ships pre-installed with their iOS and Mac OS X operating systems. Some of the installed apps that make up the individual OSes are extremely in-depth and functional pieces of software which are often a lot more advanced that any competing offering that may be available from third-party development studios. With that said, there is always going to be a part of any app, regardless of whether it is part of the operating system or not, that doesn’t appeal to users.
With the emergence of the iPhone and Mac App Stores, the app industry is thriving, meaning that users have a wealth of software choice available to them to solve any functionality need that they may have. Probably one of the most used app across any platform is the built in email client that comes with the operating system. Microsoft have Outlook and Outlook Express, whereas Apple have the default Mail apps which comes with both iOS and Mac OS X. Even though the company have recently made sweeping changes to the Mail app in OS X Lion, it still doesn’t seem to have been enough to stop users from moving away and using a third-party option.
One of the most popular third-party mail applications for Mac comes in the form of the Sparrow offering which has been available from the Mac App Store for quite some time, managing to rack up extremely positive reviews. The team behind Sparrow for Mac have recently invaded the iPhone App Store by releasing an iOS version of Sparrow, something which users have been requesting for quite some time. Unfortunately, while the Sparrow iOS app looks extremely polished and offers a feature set that has made the Mac version so popular, it comes without the ability to push new emails to the device.
As it has been the case in the past, when issues like this arise, it is generally the jailbreak development community that comes out with a solution. iOS developer Kim Streich has released Sparrow Push onto the Cydia store which gives the Sparrow for iPhone app the ability to push new mails to the device, as long as the app is running in the background. By using the IMAP IDLE protocol, Streich has been able to produce a working tweak which works harmoniously with the official Sparrow app make it a perfect replacement for the official Mail app offered by Apple. The developer also has some additional plans for the tweak going forward, with the plan to add Notification Center integration as well as support for mailto links.
Sparrow Push is available as a free of charge download from the BigBoss repository and requires the official purchase of the Sparrow for iPhone app from the App Store.
Of course, you will need to jailbreak your device to install this tweak. For jailbreaking the latest iOS 5.1 (tethered), follow the instructions posted here to jailbreak using Redsn0w, or here for Sn0wbreeze. For jailbreaking iPhone 4S and iPad 2, you can simply follow our step by step tutorial posted here to jailbreak iOS 5.0.1 using Absinthe on Windows or Mac. Those of you with an iPhone 4, 3GS, iPad 1, and iPod touches can use Redsn0w or Sn0wbreeze to untether jailbreak on iOS 5.0.1.