Supernova, more than a wash for Thunderbird

Supernova, more than a wash for Thunderbird

In the last few hours and after a year of waiting, Thunderbird 115 “Supernova” was released, the new version of the well-known email client, which in recent months has undergone a profound renewal of image and policy to users that, for the good of all, is moving the project away from the mismanagement suffered by Mozilla.

Far from being just another version, Thunderbird 115 is a powerful release that introduces many changes in terms of usability, including “move to” and “copy to” actions added to the context menu of the folders and that the application is able to open an external .eml file in a tab and support HKP key servers that return one key per email address.

One of the fronts that has received the most new features in Thunderbird 115 is OpenPGP support, and the mail client can now upload OpenGPG public keys to VKS and HKP keyservers, OpenPGP signature dates are now displayed in signed messages, and the OpenPGP candidate keys are now displayed in signed messages, OpenPGP candidate keys can be discovered and imported from an external GnuPG key set that is enabled, user-defined OpenPGP passphrases are supported and the application is able to open the OpenPGP key manager dialog box from the command line using the -keymanager option.

Focusing on more superficial aspects, those responsible hope that the new client version will be a turning point for a project that was crying out for an aesthetic renovation, and although functionality is important when it comes to production, when a product does not enter through the eyes it ends up reaching much less public.

Apart from a more modern aesthetic finish and a vertical layout that is now the default, the launch of Supernova is intended to facilitate the maintenance and extensibility of the application. Other aspects of the interface worth mentioning are a unified and dynamic toolbar capable of presenting the most frequently used actions and contextual options based on the currently active tab or space, and this has come without detracting from the customization possibilities.

The application menu is now keyboard accessible and has been redesigned to make it faster and easier to navigate. On the other hand, the calendar has an improved design, improvements introduced in the day/month/week grid and a nicer color palette.

Continuing with more interface and usability related things, from this release more control is provided by the introduction of sortable folder modes that allow the user to display their labels in the Folders Panel, being able to enable and disable local folders or move their favorite Folder Mode sections up and down with a single click. The edit view, delete buttons and accessibility have been improved in the address book and keyboard navigation and accessibility through screen readers have also been improved.

Other changes or new features that can be highlighted, as there are many, are the OAuth2 support for Fastmail, the ability to add phone and fax numbers in the address book, some Office365 accounts using password authentication will be automatically migrated to OAuth2 and that the client now uses a non-private browser for Oauth login, allowing a Microsoft Office 365 session to be started with Conditional Access Policies enabled.

And so much for everything important about Thunderbird 115. Details are published in the official announcement and release notes, while the application can be obtained for Linux, Windows and macOS from the download section of the oficial website.

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