As you probably know, I hate email. But I love Sparrow. And I love Shortmail. The two services are attempting to alleviate the pain that is email is two different ways. Sparrow makes email pretty. Shortmail makes email short. Today, the two are teaming up.
The latest version of Sparrow (1.3.2) which has just gone live in the Mac App Store now includes support for Shortmail. It needs to be set up through the Preferences -> Accounts area, but it’s pretty straight-forward. Essentially, it’s just an IMAP connection through the Sparrow client, but it comes with a nice little bonus: a character counter.
The entire idea behind Shortmail is that emails are far too long, and should be limited in a Twitter-like fashion. But instead of 140 characters, Shortmail gives users 500 characters to send email messages. If you connect a Shortmail account to Sparrow, it will now honor that character count limit, and show you how many characters each message is as you type.
This goes along with 410 Labs’ (Shortmail’s parent company) proposal that a new header should be added to email which displays character count limits (if they exist). Sparrow is the first to get on board with that. Hopefully others will too — *cough* Gmail *cough*. I guess it’s a more reasonable solution than my hope that email just dies entirely.