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Thunderbird for Android / K-9 Mail: February 2024 Progress Report

cketti 4 responses

Welcome to a new report on the progress of transforming K-9 Mail into Thunderbird for Android. I hope you’ve enjoyed the extra day in February. We certainly did and used this opportunity to release a new stable version on February 29.

If you’re new to this series or the unusually long February made you forget what happened the previous month, you might want to check out January’s progress report.

New stable release

We spent most of our time in February getting ready for a new stable release – K-9 Mail 6.800. That mostly meant fixing bugs and usability issues reported by beta testers. Thanks to everyone who tested the app and reported bugs ❤️

Read all about the new release in our blog post Towards Thunderbird for Android – K-9 Mail 6.800 Simplifies Adding Email Accounts.

What’s next?

With the new account setup being mostly done, we’ll concentrate on the following two areas.

Material 3

The question of whether to update the user interface to match the design used by the latest Android version seems to have always split the K-9 Mail user base. One group prefers that we work on adding new features instead. The other group wants their email app of choice to look similar to the apps that ship with Android.

Never updating the user interface to the latest design is not really an option. At some point all third-party libraries we’re using will only support the latest platform design. Not updating those libraries is also not an option because Android itself is constantly changing and requires app/library updates just to keep existing functionality working.

I think we found a good balance by not being the first ones to update to Material 3. By now a lot of other app developers have done so and countless bugs related to Material 3 have been found and fixed. So it’s a good time for us to start switching to Android’s latest design system now.

We’re currently still in a research phase to figure out what parts of the app need changing. Once that’s done, we’ll change the base theme and fix up the app screen by screen. You will be able to follow along by becoming a beta tester and installing K-9 Mail 6.9xx beta versions once those become available.

Android 14 compatibility

K-9 Mail is affected by a couple of changes that were introduced with Android 14. We’ve started to look into which parts of the app need to be updated to be able to target Android 14.

We’ve already identified these:

Our current plan is to include the necessary changes in updates to the K-9 Mail 6.8xx line.

Community Contributions

Thank you for your contributions!

Releases

In February 2024 we published a new stable release:

… and the following beta versions:

4 responses

Frank wrote on

If you bring back the overview page I will install K9 immediately again.
Without the overview page the app is unfortunately not useful to me.
No matter all the other cool features and Thunderbird integration you are working on.

Jason Evangelho wrote on

Hi Frank, I would encourage you to request this feature at https://connect.mozilla.org.

Vinnie wrote on

Still missing HTML signatures — the only issue that keeps me from using it.

Jason Evangelho wrote on

Vinnie, if you haven’t yet, I encourage you to vote up this feature request on Mozilla Connect: https://connect.mozilla.org/t5/ideas/allow-html-signatures-in-k-9-mail/idi-p/28983

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