Rebranding Tunderbird to Firefox Mail

Matt Harris at
Thu Apr 11 23:04:49 UTC 2019

On 11-Apr-19 1:22 AM, Ryan Sipes wrote:
> On 4/10/19 9:02 AM, Onno Ekker wrote:
>> Maybe it helps to clearly define what a browser based app is. People
>> read browser and associate it with a website and immediately think of
>> webmail. People read app and think of the Mail App on their iPhone.
>> Thunderbird isn't running in the browser, it*is*  the browser. And if
>> Thunderbird will be available as an app for my mobile phone somewhere in
>> the distant future, I'd be very happy, because at the moment handling
>> mail on the phone is subpar.
> As per the part about a mobile phone app, there are no plans for this 
> at the moment - but we could get much closer if we could create/use 
> components that would be applicable for both the desktop and mobile 
> apps. That way we wouldn't duplicate effort any more than we have to.
> I would be willing to help chase this if we had folks interested in 
> contributing to the effort and who could help identify places where we 
> can use components that would work for both use cases.
> Just thinking out loud, none of this represents anyone else's opinions.
/Ryan,  As you say it is not on the agenda now and probably not for a 
while yet, perhaps even a long while.  I am a proponent of a mobile 
Thunderbird,  and not because I want to use it.  For the vocal 
naysayers,  it is the future.  Either we go there and grow or stay 
desktop only and struggle.  This, I think, is the reality that MoCo has 
accepted with the Firefox browsers that do not use Geko for IOS and Android.

I personally have little or no use for a mobile Thunderbird, but I am 
not a typical user. ///There is a demand from users, but it is a demand 
for a Thunderbird that knows about the desktop install and will 
synchronise settings and filters, something that integrates, no 
isolates. /Without moving to a Mobile platform,  a Thunderbird that 
managed to integrate more than one install, on a laptop and a desktop, 
say would be groundwork that would be well received and still be bound 
to the desktop and make the ultimate migration to mobile less onerous.

I would also like to see something in those app stores so we do not have 
to go the copyright route to get rid of the Thunderbird clones, using 
the name and the mark.  Instead of a vacuum we need to be filling the 
niches, not enforcing rights.  Significantly more people use Android and 
IOS than have ever spun up a copy of Linux,  so lets not get into 
concerns about our pet operating system, we need to deliver what the 
user wants,  I have Ideas, but I do not profess to know what they really 
want, and I honestly doubt anyone else on this list does either.  What I 
do know is that Apples iPhone has a 28% market share compared to our 
1%.  We are now at least in the list of top 10 mail clients. If we had a 
footprint into mobile we would stand a chance of eroding some of the 
others.  Only 1 other of those 10 mail "clients" are actual desktop mail 
clients (Microsoft Outlook).  Desktop outside of the business 
environment is shrinking.  I have appended the current list I am quoting 
from current as at 1st April 2019 to 
the end of this email.  I am aware of the weakness of these types of 
lists,  so I do not need a lesson in graphics being used for tracking or 
email analytics, nor how our default image blocking can adversely affect 
our rankings.

The Gaia mail app from Firefox O/S would make a logically starting point 
for a mobile email app,  designed to run on a phone using a Linux O/S 
and with a lot of the same server side dependencies as Thunderbird, 
ISPDB etc and already including activSync.  But I for one am not 
expecting anything serious in the way of effort here for a quite 
significant timeframe, especially as the browser that would have to be 
used internally is not Firefox.  But I must reiterate, I see it as a 
future project,  not something that should be on any sort term forward 
plan, but something Thunderbird should be committed to doing.  Lets get 
the Desktop fixed up and humming along before we bite off bigger and 
perhaps more difficult fruit but lets not forget what computing devices 
our users actually own and use.





Apple iPhone





















Apple iPad







Apple Mail







Yahoo! Mail












Google Android







Samsung Mail












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