Revealed: Our Plans For Thunderbird On Android
For years, we’ve wanted to extend Thunderbird beyond the desktop, and the path to delivering a great Thunderbird on Android™ experience started in 2018.
That’s when Thunderbird Product Manager Ryan Lee Sipes first met up with Christian Ketterer (aka “cketti”), the project maintainer for open-source Android email client K-9 Mail. The two instantly wanted to find a way for the two projects to collaborate. Throughout the following few years, the conversation evolved into how to create an awesome, seamless email experience across platforms.
But Ryan and cketti both agreed that the final product had to reflect the shared values of both projects. It had to be open source, respect the user, and be a perfect fit for power users who crave customization and a rich feature set.
“Ultimately,” Sipes says, “it made sense to work together instead of developing a mobile client from scratch.”
K-9 Mail Joins The Thunderbird Family
To that end, we’re thrilled to announce that today, K-9 Mail officially joins the Thunderbird family. And cketti has already joined the full-time Thunderbird staff, bringing along his valuable expertise and experience with mobile platforms.
Ultimately, K-9 Mail will transform into Thunderbird on Android.
That means the name itself will change and adopt Thunderbird branding. Before that happens, we need to reach certain development milestones that will bring K-9 Mail into alignment with Thunderbird’s feature set and visual appearance.
To accomplish that, we’ll devote finances and development time to continually improving K-9 Mail. We’ll be adding brand new features and introducing quality-of-life enhancements.
Here’s a glimpse into our features roadmap:
- Account setup using Thunderbird account auto-configuration.
- Improved folder management.
- Support for message filters.
- Syncing between desktop and mobile Thunderbird.
“Joining the Thunderbird family allows K-9 Mail to become more sustainable and gives us the resources to implement long-requested features and fixes that our users want,” cketti says. “In other words, K-9 Mail will soar to greater heights with the help of Thunderbird.”
Thunderbird On Android: Join The Journey
Thunderbird users have long been asking for Thunderbird on their Android and iOS devices. This move allows Thunderbird users to have a powerful, privacy-respecting email experience today on Android. Plus, it lets the community help shape the transition of K-9 Mail into a fully-featured mobile Thunderbird experience.
This is only the beginning, but it’s a very exciting first step.
Want to talk directly with the Thunderbird team about it? Join us for a Twitter Spaces chat (via @MozThunderbird) on Wednesday, June 15 at 10am PDT / 1pm EDT / 7pm CEST). I’ll be there alongside cketti and Ryan to answer your questions, and discuss the future of Thunderbird on mobile devices.
Additional Links And Resources
- Public discussion and planning forum
- Donate to Thunderbird and K-9 Mail
- K-9 Mail on Google Play
- K-9 Mail on F-Droid
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve published a separate FAQ here, addressing many of the community’s questions and concerns. Check back there from time to time, as we plan to update the FAQ as this collaboration progresses.