Betterbird. Simply better.
Betterbird is a fine-tuned version of Mozilla Thunderbird, Thunderbird on steroids, if you will.
Betterbird is better than Thunderbird in three ways: It contains new features exclusive to Betterbird, it contains bug fixes exclusive to Betterbird and it contains fixes that Thunderbird may ship at a later stage. Please refer to this feature table for examples. This should give you an impression of where the project is headed. More information on why we're doing the project can be found at the FAQ.
Betterbird 91.0 released on 5th August 2021
Today we are shipping the first release "bb8" of Betterbird version 91. In a successful beta period of Betterbird, we shipped the first beta release "bb1" on 12th July 2021, the last beta release "bb7" on 2nd August 2021. Please refer to the release notes for details.
Betterbird 91.12.0 released on 24th July 2022
Today we are shipping Betterbird version 91.12.0-bb35. Please refer to the release notes for details. German, Dutch, French, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese localisations available, other languages on request. A portable version for Windows is also available. There's also a Mac build in English only.
Betterbird 102.0 "preview" released on 24th June 2022
Today we are shipping the first release "bb8" of Betterbird version 102. In a successful beta period of Betterbird, we shipped the first beta release "bb1" on 6th June 2022, the last beta release "bb7" on 22nd June 2022.
Betterbird 102.1.1 released on 6th August 2022
Today we are shipping Betterbird version 102.1.1-bb13. Please refer to the release notes for details.
Note that Thunderbird 102 is still very much work-in-progress with many features destined for version 102 still incomplete and various bugs (different list here) not fixed in the current release version. We have contributed some fixes and we have accelerated some fixes in Betterbird, but we still do not consider version 102 to have release quality. Please keep this in mind when trying version 102. Refer to the release notes for details.
Based on the current situation in version 102, a look at quality assurance, or lack thereof, is appropriate. Thunderbird has never had an organised quality assurance team, they let the product ripen at the customer site, at worst causing data loss like for version 102. The 102 release with mbox and MSF corruption causing data loss and deleted MSF files was nothing short of disastrous.
More and more developers are hired
who contribute more and more changes causing an ever growing number of regressions
A software regression is a type of software bug where a feature that has worked before stops working).
The team tracks bugs found in early deployment of a release, and the trend is astounding:
Version 68: 43,
Version 78: 185,
Version 91: 270,
Version 102: 353 (8 August 2022) and counting.
Thunderbird management has discussed establishing a QA team since 2020, but in the end, funds were spent on hiring more developers. In this context, this article seems to mark the beginning of a new era. But will Thunderbird finally catch up with quality and usability issues? Our project leader wrote an answer.
Want to see Betterbird running on a mobile ARM64 device (Samsung Galaxy Tab S7), click here. Note: That's the work of a volunteer, not strictly related to the Betterbird project.
For the much requested multi-line view, see here for details.
The red-orange colour scheme is part of the registered trademark. Red-orange together with a Phoenix-like bird on one hand signify a more aggressive policy and on the other hand a resurrection from the ashes unleashing the potential of the product while not being bogged down by annoying bugs.
We've had many requests to change the icons to make them better distinguishable from Firefox to avoid mis-clicks. As the colour scheme is part of the trademark, this is unlikely to happen.
Due to the current situation in Europe, we were featuring the Betterbird logo at this website in Ukrainian colours from March to July 2022. This has now be replaced by a ribbon of solidarity.
If you want to make your own custom icons, download the green logo or the one in Ukrainian colours:
Betterbird elsewhere on the web
|Our GitHub repository||github.com/Betterbird/|
|Discussion about all things Betterbird (in German)||Forum @ www.thunderbird-mail.de|
|Interview with the project leader (in German)||linuxnews.de|
|Arch Linux packages
(English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese)
|YouTube Video (in Spanish and a little outdated)||www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BCR8PUmst4|
|Search on Google, more stuff apearing all the time:||www.google.com/search?q=betterbird|
|Reddit article showing up in the Google search: Handle with care, some posters there can't read or click a link|