Frequently Asked Questions: Thunderbird Mobile and K-9 Mail
Today, we announced our detailed plans for Thunderbird on mobile. We also welcomed the open-source Android email client K-9 Mail into the Thunderbird family. Below, you’ll find an evolving list of frequently asked questions about this collaboration and our future plans.
The Thunderbird team had many discussions on how we might provide a great mobile experience for our users. In the end, we didn’t want to duplicate effort if we could combine forces with an existing open-source project that shared our values. Over years of discussing ways K-9 and Thunderbird could collaborate, we decided it would best serve our users to work together.
If you want to help shape the future of Thunderbird on Android, you’re encouraged to install K-9 Mail right now. Leading up to the first official release of Thunderbird for Android, the user interface will probably change a few times. If you dislike somewhat frequent changes in apps you use daily, you might want to hold off.
Many Thunderbird users have asked for a Thunderbird experience on mobile, which we intend to provide by helping make K-9 amazing (and turning it into Thunderbird on Android). K-9 will supplement the Thunderbird experience and enhance where and how users are able to have a great email experience. Our commitment to desktop Thunderbird is unchanged, most of our team is committed to making that a best-in-class email client and it will remain that way.
K-9 Mail will be brought in-line with Thunderbird from a feature perspective, and we will ensure that syncing between Thunderbird and K-9/Thunderbird on Android is seamless. Of course, Thunderbird on Android and Thunderbird on Desktop are both intended to serve very different form factors, so there will be UX differences between the two. But we intend to allow similar workflows and tools on both platforms.
Yes. We plan to offer Firefox Sync as one option to allow you to securely sync accounts between Thunderbird and K-9 Mail. We expect this feature to be implemented in the summer of 2023.
We are working on an amazing email experience first. We are looking at the best way to provide Thunderbird’s other functionality on Android but currently are still debating how best to achieve that. For instance, one method is to simply sync calendars, and then users are able to use their preferred calendar application on their device. But we have to discuss this within the team, and the Thunderbird and K-9 communities, then decide what the best approach is.
Donations made towards K-9 will be allocated to the Thunderbird project. Of course, Thunderbird in turn will provide full support for K-9 Mail’s development and activities that support the advancement and sustainability of the app.
Thunderbird is currently evaluating the development of an iOS app.
1) Participate in our discussion and planning forum.
2) Developers are encouraged to visit https://developer.thunderbird.net to get started.
3) Obtain Thunderbird source code by visiting https://developer.thunderbird.net/thunderbird-development/getting-started.
4) K-9 Mail source code is available at: https://github.com/thundernest/k-9
5) You can financially support Thunderbird and K-9 Mail’s development by donating via this link: https://mzla.link/k9-give.