Ryan Sipes, community manager of Thunderbird, has announced that this year encrypting emails in Thunderbird will become easier. He also announced that the developers will focus more on privacy and security of the free open-source mail application in 2019.
Currently it’s possible to send encrypted emails with Thunderbird by installing a certificate or using the GnuP combined with the Enigmail plugin. The user interface for encrypting emails will get an overhaul this year which should make it easier, according to Sipes.
“It is our hope to make encrypting Email and ensuring your private communication easier in upcoming releases, we’ve even hired an engineer who will be focused primarily on security and privacy”, Sipes writes.
Besides the improvements in security and privacy, the developers want to make improvements on notifications in Thunderbird. This should be done by better integrating with each operating system’s built-in notification system. The changes should give Thunderbird a more native feel across different operating systems.
Also planned for this year, is work to make the email application faster, therefore the developers will be working on rewriting old code and addressing UI-slowness and general performance issues.
Also better Gmail integration is in the pipeline which, according to Sipes, means, “GMail label support and ensuring that other features specific to the GMail experience translate well into Thunderbird.”
Thunderbird was initially the email client designed to work with the Firefox browser. It’s also the default email client of the Ubuntu OS. In 2015, Mozilla announced that it wanted to uncouple Thunderbird from Firefox and started to search for other parties to invest in the email application. In 2017, Mozilla decided to it would continue to provide at least a temporary legal and financial home for the Thunderbird project. The email application no longer uses the Mozilla infrastructure.
Thunderbird has 14 employees and the main source of income of Thunderbird are donations.