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K-9 Mail app will become the Android email client for Thunderbird.

Thunderbird’s developers announced that K-9 Mail would become Thunderbird for Android.

In May 2022, Thunderbird product and business development manager Ryan Lee Sipes revealed that Thunderbird will soon be accessible for Android. The release would fill a void, as Thunderbird was previously exclusively accessible for desktop operating systems. The Android version of Thunderbird allows users to synchronize data between desktop and mobile Android devices.

One of the solutions addressed by the team was the construction of an Android email client from the ground up, but this would have been a substantial undertaking that would have taken significant time and resources. The concept to partner with an existing open source email project for Android was conceived in 2018 when Sipes began discussing prospective collaborations with Christian Ketterer, the K-9 Mail project maintainer.

According to Sipes, K-9 Mail “aligns nicely with Thunderbird’s philosophy of using open standards, respecting the user, and empowering power users with unparalleled customisation.” Ketterer has already joined the Thunderbird team, bringing with him his knowledge of mobile platforms and the K-9 Mail program.

Thunderbird will “dedicate financial and development resources to enhancing K-9 Mail,” including an enhanced account setup, which Thunderbird gained in a recent release, improved folder management, support for message filters, and the ability to synchronize data between desktop and mobile clients. The team anticipates introducing support for synchronization in the summer of 2023.

K-9 Mail will ultimately become Thunderbird for Android, but this will not happen quickly. The client will undergo aesthetic modifications to more closely resemble Thunderbird.

K-9 Mail will continue to be available, but customers who have installed it will encounter changes in the coming months and years to better match the email client with Thunderbird’s brand and features.

The most recent UI upgrade has received mixed feedback. Multiple email account users have reported that the program is less straightforward for them to use. Others appreciate that it is open source and that development is supported by donations.

Collaboration with an established application and developer makes sense on several levels. K-9 Mail is already accessible, and it will require less time to resemble Thunderbird. Creating an app from scratch would need more time and money, and consumers would likely be dissatisfied if the initial release lacked key expected features.

The chief developer and team must take customer feedback carefully, as the rating of 3.1 out of 5 stars is not the best. There is a fair likelihood that numerous Many of these will be handled as a result of the availability of more development resources.

What do you think?

Written by Martinus T.