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

Welcome to our monthly report on turning K-9 Mail into Thunderbird for Android! Last month you could read about how we found and fixed bugs after publishing a new stable release. This month we start with… telling you that we fixed even more bugs.

Fixing bugs

After the release of K-9 Mail 6.800 we dedicated some time to fixing bugs. We published the first bugfix release in March and continued that work in April.

K-9 Mail 6.802

The second bugfix release contained these changes:

I’m especially happy that we were able to add back the Hebrew translation. We removed it prior to the K-9 Mail 6.800 release due to the translation being less than 70% complete (it was at 49%). Since then volunteers translated the missing bits of the app and in April the translation was almost complete.

Unfortunately, the same isn’t true for the Korean translation that was also removed. It was 69% complete, right below the threshold. Since then there has been no significant change. If you are a K-9 Mail user and a native Korean speaker, please consider helping out.

F-Droid metadata (again?)

In the previous progress report we described what change had led to the app description disappearing on F-Droid and how we intended to fix it. Unfortunately we found out that our approach to fixing the issue didn’t work due to the way F-Droid builds their app index. So we changed our approach once again and hope that the app description will be restored with the next app release.

Push & the permission to schedule alarms

K-9 Mail 6.802 notifies the user when Push is enabled in settings, but the permission to schedule exact alarms is missing. However, what we really want to do is ask the user for this permission before we allow them to enable Push.

This change was completed in April and will be included in the next bugfix release, K-9 Mail 6.803.

Material 3

As briefly mentioned in March’s progress report, we’ve started work on switching the app to Google’s latest version of Material Design – Material 3. In April we completed the technical conversion. The app is now using Material 3 components instead of the Material Design 2 ones.

The next step is to clean up the different screens in the app. This means adjusting spacings, text sizes, colors, and sometimes more extensive changes. 

We didn’t release any beta versions while the development version was still a mix of Material Design 2 and Material 3. Now that the first step is complete, we’ll resume publishing beta versions.

If you are a beta tester, please be aware that the app still looks quite rough in a couple of places. While the app should be fully functional, you might want to leave the beta program for a while if the look of the app is important to you.

Targeting Android 14

Part of the necessary app maintenance is to update the app to target the latest Android version. This is required for the app to use the latest security features and to cope with added restrictions the system puts in place. It’s also required by Google in order to be able to publish updates on Google Play.

The work to target Android 14 is now mostly complete. This involved some behind the scenes changes that users hopefully won’t notice at all. We’ll be testing these changes in a future beta version before including them in a K-9 Mail 6.8xx release.

Building two apps

If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you’re excited for Thunderbird for Android to be finally released. However, we’ve also heard numerous times that people love K-9 Mail and wished the app would stay around. That’s why we’ve announced in December to do just that.

We’ve started work on this and are now able to build two apps from the same source code. Thunderbird for Android already includes the fancy new Thunderbird logo and a first version of a blue theme.

But as you can see in the screenshots above, we’re not quite done yet. We still have to change parts of the app where the app name is displayed to use a placeholder instead of a hard-coded string. Then there’s the About screen and a couple of other places that require app-specific behavior.

We’ll keep you posted.


In April 2024 we published the following stable release:

11 responses

zakius wrote on

I’m just not a fan of umbrella branding, Thunderbird is (mostly) the same across desktop OS-es, but the app running on Android will be completely different
even for Quantum, where Fenix shares a lot of code for rendering purposes, the app itself is vastly different and shouldn’t share the name for clarity reasons, to not build expectations that can’t be met

I’m not saying K-9 is or will be bad, I just mean it’s a different thing and will likely behave very differently from Thunderbird in certain situations

Monica Ayhens-Madon wrote on

Thanks for sharing your feedback! While it is true that the Android experience will be different from the desktop, the Thunderbird brand still upholds the same values, such as privacy, lack of data tracking, and open-source principles. This makes it easier for users seeking an email application where these things matter.

... [Trackback] wrote on

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Hyourinmaru wrote on

Are there plans to add a calendar and contacts feature, similar to what Thunderbird Desktop has had for several versions, or will Thunderbird for Android remain just a pure email client?

Monica Ayhens-Madon wrote on

As of now, Thunderbird for Android will be focused on email – there’s a longer answer to this question in our office hours on frequently asked questions:

Cyp wrote on

I am currently using K-9, but I am looking forward to the official release of Thunderbird. Is there a chance it will be released in the first half of 2024?

Monica Ayhens-Madon wrote on

While we don’t have an exact date yet, it’s more likely Thunderbird for Android will be released in the second half of the year. Thank you for using K-9! A great way to see the progress towards Thunderbird for Android and help improve it is to download the beta image ( and report bugs as Github issues.

Hyourinmaru wrote on

Will Thunderbird for Android get a cascading folder function where folders can be expanded if they contain subfolders?
Currently, folders are displayed according to the “Main folder.Subfolder1” system, where the main folder and the subfolder are separated by a dot in the folder name.

kees de Vries wrote on

Hoe krijg ik mijn mails van mijn laptop op mijn mobiel telefoon. Heb alles gedownload en betaald, krijg de mails niet geëxporteerd naar mijn mobiel.

Monica Ayhens-Madon wrote on

Welke e-mailprovider gebruik je? (Dit bericht is enigszins verwarrend, omdat we niet weten waarvoor je hebt betaald.) Als je meer details geeft, kunnen we proberen te helpen, of je kunt ook een bericht plaatsen op de K-9 forums ( (via DeepL)

Stefano wrote on

Is there a plan to reintroduce the old, glorious, account overview screen in K9/Thunderbird final release?
Even as an optional feature, it’s just a different landing page than the unified accounts, that really a lot of users loved.
Removing in from K9 caused a disaster in the reviews and a lot of people abandoned.
Thanks for considering

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