The Mozilla Foundation has big plans to modernize its Thunderbird email client in 2019, improving its performance, usability, and look and feel.
In doing so, it will add staff and try to catch up technologically with more modern email clients.
Mozilla's new hires are already addressing technical debt and doing a fair bit of plumbing when it comes to Thunderbird’s codebase. They will also be addressing UI-slowness and general performance issues across the application.
Mozilla will also be looking into leveraging new, faster technologies in rewriting parts of Thunderbird as well as working toward a multi-process Thunderbird.
UX/UI improvements are also on the way. For instance, one area of useability that Mozilla is planning on addresssing in 2019 is integration improvements in various areas. One of those in better GMail support, as one of the biggest Email providers it makes sense to focus some resources on this area. Mozilla is looking at addressing GMail label support and ensuring that other features specific to the GMail experience translate well into Thunderbird.
Mozilla i salso looking at improving notifications in Thunderbird, by better integrating with each operating system’s built-in notification system. By working on this feature Thunderbird will feel more “native” on each desktop and will make managing notifications from the app easier.
The UX/UI around encryption and settings will get an overhaul in the coming year, whether or not all this work makes it into the next release is an open question. Mozilla hopes to make encrypting Email in upcoming releases. Beyond that, Thunderbird will have better settings so that it is easier to fi