At the beginning of May, we reported about the plans that the Mozilla Thunderbird email client would also be implemented for Android and later for iOS. The company has now announced that the Thunderbird app for Android will emerge from the popular K-9 Mail client.
K-9 Mail will become Thunderbird for Android
According to the company’s own statement, there had been plans to bring Thunderbird to Android since 2018. At the time, Thunderbird Product Manager Ryan Lee Sipes first met with Christian “cketti” Ketterer, maintainer of the open-trace Android app K-9 Mail.
Over the next few years, they worked together to develop a “great, seamless email experience” across all platforms. The result is the new Android app, which shares the values of both companies. Being in open-source code, respecting the user or user, and providing power users with the customization options they need and demand.
Ultimately, it made much more sense to collaborate rather than develop a mobile email client from scratch, Sipes said.
K-9 Mail is slowly merging with Thunderbird
But development is expected to go slowly, so K-9 Mail won’t disappear from the market immediately. First, the features and visual makeup will be adapted to those of Thunderbird, and the next step will be name and branding. Here, users can look forward to new features and quality-of-life improvements.
Accounts can be transferred to the client with the familiar auto-configuration features. Also promised is improved folder management, support for message filters and seamless synchronization between desktop and mobile versions of Thunderbird.
The FAQ also states that if you want to actively shape the future of Thunderbird for Android, you should install the K-9 Mail app now. Until the final official first release of the new app, however, the user interface could still change several times.
However, the development of the mobile app is not expected to have any impact on Thunderbird’s desktop app, according to the statement. “K-9 will support and enhance the Thunderbird experience where and how users will be able to use a great email experience”.
Firefox Sync, for syncing Thunderbird accounts with K-9 Mail, is already in the pipeline. This feature is scheduled to launch in the summer of 2023. So it seems that the final version of the new Android email client will have to wait a little longer.