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Sparrow, the client that brings a fresh perspective to the aging medium of email, has gained a handy new feature in a big version 1.4 update: integration with CloudApp for attachments. You have to enable the option in preferences, and once you do, you can drag an attachment into the main body area of a draft to upload it to CloudApp and insert a link. It’s great for sending files too large for email or simply giving a shareable link to your recipient.

Toss in lots of other tweaks like a reverse thread option (just like Gmail), pull to refresh, and a bunch of UI and performance improvements, and I’m happier than ever that I made the switch from Mail earlier this year. I’ve used and really liked Mail ever since I got my first Mac in 2002, but even with the improvements in Lion, it’s showing its age. I mean, c’mon: Apple added easy setup support for Gmail I think around Leopard in 2007, but even in the 10.7.2 Lion develop seeds I’m running, Mail still doesn’t understand how to archive a message versus delete it.

Affordable short URL services that offer root domain redirects

To follow up on Bitly’s vanity URL news, I know of at least two services that offer custom root domain redirects at prices that are much more affordable to individuals and small businesses.

The first is CloudApp, a super simple service for sharing links, media, and other files. Basic features are free, but a vanity URL with root redirection (and other features like larger uploads and storage persistence) starts at $5 per month, with discounts for longer terms. Regular yearly price is $60, but it’s on sale right now for just $45.

The other option I know of is HootSuite, a social media dashboard that lets you wrangle and cross-post to Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, and a bunch of other social networks. Depending on your needs, HootSuite might offer more than you’re looking for since it’s designed for small businesses and individuals who want a little more than your typical Twitter client. But you can ditch its dashboard interface and just shorten links with HootSuite’s bookmarklet, browser plugins, and free mobile apps. Many of HootSuite’s features are free (including the ability to schedule tweets and posts), while the premium version that offers things like team members and analytics starts at $6/month. Add another $50/month on top of that you can shorten links with your vanity URL and set a root redirect.

BlueNube brings CloudApp to iPad

http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=BCsDzMeAVI4&offerid=146261&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=1826&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fbluenube%252Fid420282258%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30

BlueNube is the only CloudApp client for iPad that I know of. I bought it at 1.0 but was frustrated by its clunky and confusing UI, so I forgot about it. With a big 1.1 update over the weekend, BlueNube’s become much more straightforward and usable. It also gained Document Sharing features, so you can send files from other apps to BlueNube to upload and auto-copy the sharing URL to your clipboard.