When will Thunderbird for Android be released? This is a question that comes up quite a lot, and we appreciate that you’re all excited to finally put Thunderbird in your pocket. It’s not a simple answer, but we’ll do our best to explain why things are taking longer than expected.
We have always been a bit vague on when we were going to release Thunderbird for Android. At first this was because we still had to figure out what features we wanted to add to K-9 Mail before we were comfortable calling it Thunderbird. Once we had a list, we estimated how long it would take to add those features to the app. Then something happened that always happens in software projects – things took longer than expected. So we cut down on features and aimed for a release at the end of 2023. As we got closer to the end of the year, it became clear that even with the reduced set of features, the release date would have almost certainly slipped into early 2024.
We then sat together and reevaluated the situation. In the end we decided that there’s no rush. We’ll work on the features we wanted in the app in the first place, because you deserve the best mobile experience we can give you. Once those features have been added, we’ll release the app as Thunderbird for Android.
Why Wait? Try K-9 Mail Now
But of course you don’t have to wait until then. All our development happens out in the open. The stable version of K-9 Mail contains all of the features we have already completed. The beta version of K-9 Mail contains the feature(s) we’re currently working on.
K-9 Mail’s Future
Side note: Quite a few people seem to love K-9 Mail and have asked us to keep the robot dog around. We believe it should be relatively little effort to build two apps from one code base. The apps would be virtually identical and only differ in app name, app icon, and the color scheme. So our current plan is to keep K-9 Mail around.
Whether you prefer metal dogs or mythical birds, we’ve got you covered.
This announcement was also published in the Thunderbird blog.