Sorry for my long silence on this – well, and all other topics on this forum!
Fact is: I haven't done any work on Sparrow for years. Even before I stopped development, lots of users moved to Sprite Kit (because Apple really seemed to push that back then) or, of course, Unity. A while, Robert (Carone) did a lot of great work to keep it in shape, but it was to no avail.
I think the final nail in the coffin was when Apple introduced Swift. To keep any relevance, Sparrow should have been completely rewritten in Swift – but without a relevant user base to support that, this was just too much work.
Thus, it just left hanging around as it was – and mostly, it should still work, because we always tried to keep it lightweight and depend on just the minimal Apple APIs. The main changes are probably updating Xcode projects, documentation, etc.
I agree that having a lightweight API and "right tool for the job" would be fantastic. However, one could argue that Sprite Kit is just that, nowadays. And many game developers (rightfully) want to create their games in a cross-platform way. (Compared to business- or lifestyle apps, games tend to get away with not having a 100% native look & feel.)
It's just a lot of work to keep such a framework in shape – and with all the competition, it's hard to justify rebooting Sparrow. Heck, if I'd be working on an iOS-only game, I'd probably do it anyway! 😉 But it doesn't look as if I get the chance anytime soon.
I'm sorry that I haven't got any better news! I always loved working on Sparrow. I still think it was a nice framework with just the right level of abstraction and closeness to the native APIs. 🙂