Thunderbird is a mail client that has been around for years and I am sure you have read about it at some point. It has been years since I have used Thunderbird. At that time it did not have a calendar so I would add in Lightening. I saw Thunderbird has a beta that includes a calendar so downloaded version 107.0b4 to give it a look. You can read up and download the Beta here.
After downloading and unzipping I simply ran the Thunderbird executable. It runs fast and I had zero issues running on Linux. Loading of data is super fast too, actually faster than Evolution. However, unlike Evolution, having your Google account setup system wide did not automatically connect Thunderbird to the Google services. No worries, the setup worked so well is didn’t really matter.
The Google Gmail, calendar, and address book configuration was trivial. I am rather impresses with it. I don’t use other services so experiences may vary. I entered my Google e-mail address on the setup page that displays when you first run the application and it determined I was using Google right away. The login process and setup of the various services was point and click and took no technical knowledge.
Look and Features
Now I am not sure if Thunderbird already had a dark theme, I assumed it did through the theme engine and I vaguely remember adding themes back in the day, but it started with a dark theme and that I like. Light backgrounds tend to bother my eyes. It is also not a Gtk app so it will not pick up the Gnome themes but it fit my system theme fine by default. Considering it is built off Firefox, adding themes and extensions is a similar process to the browser, along with the same security concerns.
Using the Application
Built in calendar, tasks, chat, and news reader all worked without any issues. Of course mail was fine too. My experience, beyond some layout differences, was very much the same as Evolution. Events and tasks display in Gnome’s top bar calendar and notifications worked as expected. It likely integrates with other desktop managers as well considering it’s a rather generic application. For me the experience using Thunderbird was good but so similar to Evolution I see no reason to switch.
Note: Evolution does have issues on some platforms when the system sleeps or hibernates. It breaks the Google connection that needs reconnected each time the system takes a nap or I close the lid. I don’t have this issue on Pop! OS but I do have it on the Surface Pro running Ubuntu and another laptop running Garuda (Arch based) both running Gnome 43. I may switch to Thunderbird on the Surface Pro.
I’d say it addresses most of the complaints I have read recently and it also has more security features built in. If you need a solid mail client with a calendar and tasks this release might be for you.