Thunderbird: Sync postponed and switch to monthly releases
Thunderbird Sync, the much-awaited synchronization feature of the Thunderbird email client, won't be introduced in Thunderbird 115. A new blog post on the official Thunderbird blog confirms that the feature has been postponed.
The Thunderbird team planned to integrate Sync functionality in their latest major release, Thunderbird 115. Thunderbird 115 is the new Extended Support Release (ESR) base of the email client and it features changes, including an overhauled interface and plenty of other modifications.
Work continues on adding more of the planned features, such as launching Thunderbird for Android or Thunderbird Sync.
Thunderbird Sync enables users of the email client to sync data, including settings, between clients. The team plans to enable syncing for the following sets of data:
- Email account definitions.
- Account credentials.
- Saved Searches.
- Tags, Tasks.
- Majority of preferences.
The blog post by Jason Evangelho confirms now that Thunderbird Sync won't be part of the Thunderbird 115 release cycle. The team plans to introduce the functionality in the next Thunderbird ESR release, which will be released in 2024. This is also when development is switching to a monthly release schedule for the email client.
Evangelho admits that technical blockers prevented the integration in Thunderbird 115. Based on Firefox Sync, the development team is aware that there is no room for error when it comes to such an important feature. It needs to be secure and reliable, and the infrastructure needs to be ready to sync the data of millions of users of the email client.
The team is still looking for a Site Reliability Engineer to help it with the back-end infrastructure, as it is independent of Firefox Sync. Next to that, the feature needs months of testing to iron out issues.
Some users of the email client who use it on multiple devices will be disappointed that the new sync functionality won't be introduced in 2023. Then again, making sure that sync is secure and stable is of utmost importance to the entire project. The postponing of the Sync feature, as disappointing as it may be for the team and users, is the right decision.
Now You: do you use Thunderbird or another email client?