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Towards Thunderbird for Android – K-9 Mail 6.800 Simplifies Adding Email Accounts

We’re happy to announce the release of K-9 Mail 6.800. The main goal of this version is to make it easier for you to add your email accounts to the app.

With another item crossed off the list, this brings us one step closer towards Thunderbird for Android.

New account setup

Setting up an email account in K-9 Mail is something many new users have struggled with in the past. That’s mainly because automatic setup was only supported for a handful of large email providers. If you had an email account with another email provider, you had to manually enter the incoming and outgoing server settings. But finding the correct server settings can be challenging. 

So we set out to improve the setup experience. Since this part of the app was quite old and had a couple of other problems, we used this opportunity to rewrite the whole account setup component. This turned out to be more work than originally anticipated. But we’re quite happy with the result.

Let’s have a brief look at the steps involved in setting up a new account.

1. Enter email address

To get the process started, all you have to do is enter the email address of the account you want to set up in K-9 Mail.

2. Provide login credentials

After tapping the Next button, the app will use Thunderbird’s Autoconfig mechanism to try to find the appropriate incoming and outgoing server settings. Then you’ll be asked to provide a password or use the web login flow, depending on the email provider.

The app will then try to log in to the incoming and outgoing server using the provided credentials.

3. Provide some basic information about the account

If your login credentials check out, you’ll be asked to provide your name for outgoing messages. For all the other inputs you can go with the defaults. All settings can be changed later, once an account has been set up.

If everything goes well, that’s all it takes to set up an account.

Of course there’s still cases where the app won’t be able to automatically find a configuration and the user will be asked to manually provide the incoming and outgoing server settings. But we’ll be working with email providers to hopefully reduce the number of times this happens.

What else is new?

While the account setup rewrite was our main development focus, we’ve also made a couple of smaller changes and bug fixes. You can find a list of the most notable ones below.

Improvements and behavior changes

Bug fixes

Other changes

Known issues

Where To Get K-9 Mail Version 6.800

Version 6.800 has started gradually rolling out. As always, you can get it on the following platforms:

GitHub | F-Droid | Play Store

(Note that the release will gradually roll out on the Google Play Store, and should appear shortly on F-Droid, so please be patient if it doesn’t automatically update.)

4 responses

Dongorn wrote on

Very exciting to see the Thunderbird features gradually being rolled into K9! I know it’ll be a while, but I’m very excited for labels and filters!

User wrote on

Do we really need Thunderbird for Android? There is FairEmail which is good and secure and enough. I would much more like if the energy from Thunderbird would go to the desktop version because the calendar is still not working good.
Make one think good, than go to another.

Jason Evangelho wrote on

We believe it’s important to have a mobile option for Thunderbird, absolutely. Especially for the millions of people already using Thunderbird on the desktop, who want to seamlessly move between mobile and desktop using Thunderbird Sync. For years, this has been the most requested thing from our users.

Dwayne Yamato wrote on

I agree. Having a Thunderbird app for Android will certainly compliment my Thunderbird setup on my PC.

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