After despising it for years, Mozilla had to give in and swallow with thunder bird, although not without carrying out a restructuring around its organization that pointed to a more corporate approach. The foundation behind Firefox hasn’t been characterized in the last decade for moving fast against the competition, so we’ve recently had proof that the email client is going to come to Android.
The arrival of Thunderbird on Android was announced rather spontaneously after Jason Evangelho, a well-known Linux popularizer who has recently been Thunderbird’s marketing manager, asked his colleague Ryan Lee Sipes via Twitter if there was anything about the arrival of the email client on mobile phones, which was answered in the affirmative.
With the application confirmed, the question focused on how it would arrive and what technology it would be based on. At first, our colleagues from MuyLinux speculated that it might be based on Fenix, the technology used for some time by Firefox for Android, however, now we have found out that in the end what will be done is to adopt the K-9 Mail client to convert it into Thunderbird for Android.
The idea of Thunderbird for Android being based on K-9 Mail seems like it’s been brewing for years, as Ryan Lee Sipes started talking in 2018 with Christian Ketterer, lead maintainer of K-9 Mail, about possible collaborations. Apparently the agreement between the parties has gone further than expected, because beyond taking K-9 Mail as a base, what has been done has been to integrate this application together with its main maintainer in the structure of Thunderbird.
In other words, K-9 Mail will be converted, little by little, into Thunderbird for Android, and Christian Ketterer is from now on part of the team behind the development of the application that operates under Mozilla. Sipes has said that K-9 Mail “aligns perfectly with Thunderbird’s values of using open standards, respecting the user, and allowing power users unparalleled customization”while Ketterer hopes to bring his experience and expertise in developing for mobile platforms.
Like we have already said, K-9 Mail will be gradually converted into Thunderbird for Android, so those responsible for the original Mozilla application will provide K-9 Mail with resources so that it improves in terms of features and better aligns with the versions of Thunderbird for desktop both in terms of functions and design. Of course, the thing looks for a long time as the introduction of synchronization support has been planned for 2023.
K-9 will continue to be available as such for at least the next few months and possibly for part of next year, although it is likely that users will notice an acceleration in its development through the introduction of features and changes at the design level that will be more constants.
All in all, K-9 Mail, an email client for Android, is already part of Thunderbird and will gradually become Thunderbird for Android. The transition would materialize once the developers see that it has been sufficiently paired with the desktop versions. One thing that has apparently remained up in the air is the license, since Thunderbird is published under MPL 2 and K-9 Mail uses Apache 2. The logical thing is to think that the resulting product uses MPL 2 as it is licensed by Mozilla itself. , but who knows what is cooking inside.