Mozilla today announced a new email client for Android devices called K9 Mail. The new mobile app is being launched as part of the Mozilla Thunderbird family of open source desktop email and chat applications.
The Mozilla Foundation says it is currently evaluating the development of the K-9 email client for iOS devices.
K-9 Mail includes Thunderbird account automatic configuration, advanced folder management, support for message filters, and an advanced account setup using synchronization between the desktop and mobile versions of Thunderbird, Mozilla said. (K-9 Mail is available for download through these various sites.)
“Eventually, the K-9 Mail will transform into Thunderbird on Android, once some development milestones are achieved that align it closely with Thunderbird’s feature set and visual presence,” said Christian Ketterer, project manager of the K-9 Mail project, in a blog post. (Ketterer is better known as Ketterer in the Mozilla open-source developer community.)
Thunderbird is a free and open source email, calendaring, newsfeed and chat client with over 20 million active monthly users across Windows, macOS and Linux.
Like Thunderbird, the K-9 Mail project is funded entirely by the Mozilla Foundation community of open source developers.
Currently, Android mobile users have many email and chat options, including Google’s Gmail, Microsoft Outloo, k and ProtonMail, an end-to-end encrypted email service.
Ryan Lee Sips, Thunderbird Product Manager, said working with the Thunderbird email team to develop new mobile clients is more understandable than developing mobile clients from scratch. “Joining the Thunderbird family makes the K-9 more sustainable and gives us the resources to implement the long-requested features and modifications that our users have,” said Sips. “In other words, K-9 Mail will rise to greater heights with the help of Thunderbird.”
Mozilla plans to offer Firefox Sync as an alternative to allow users to securely sync accounts between Thunderbird and K-9. The feature is expected to be implemented in the summer of 2023.
With the exception of a few functions, the K-9 will look like Thunderbird’s current desktop app.
Thunderbird for Android will not initially support chats like Calendar, Work, Feed, or Desktop App, Kate wrote in a Q&A included as part of her blog post. Ketterer says the developer team is working on “an amazing email experience” first and is considering the best way to provide other Thunderbird functionality on Android. “But now [we] There is still debate over how to achieve this. ”
One way to be able to use Thunderbird’s desktop email feature set, he writes, is to simply sync calendars, and then allow users to use the calendar application of their choice on their device.
“But we have to discuss it within the team and within the Thunderbird and K-9 communities, then decide what the best approach is,” Ketterer wrote.
Thunderbird is powered by MZLA Technologies. Which is an affiliate of the Mozilla Foundation.
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