While most Android users are happy with Gmail, power users are looking for something a little more suited to their needs. One of the more popular alternatives is K-9 Mail, an open source client focused on interoperability and easily managing multiple accounts. The last time the app had a stable release was in September 2018, working on a beta for a complete overhaul in the meantime. Yesterday the stable update to 5.8 was finally dropped.
What’s up? So much. This is what we in the world of tech journalism call a beep-ton (at least when our editors are watching). Here is a truncated, but still quite long, list of the changelog.
- Major user interface redesign
- Changed periodic background sync and push implementations to work much more reliably
- Deprecated support for the WebDAV protocol; new accounts can no longer be added
- K-9 Mail now requires Android 5.0 and newer
- Added support for Autocrypt configuration message
- Added support for encrypted topics
- Do not use the default signature when setting up a new account
- Allow installation on external media (Android 6+ with adopted storage)
- Keyboard shortcuts removed for menu items; on some devices they conflicted with system shortcuts
- Removed broken option to store message database on external storage
- Removed the “remote control” interface that third-party applications could use to change certain settings in K-9 Mail
- Many other bug fixes, internal changes and improvements
At least some users will likely be annoyed by removing these keyboard shortcuts, especially if they are using them on something like the Galaxy Tab S series with its excellent external keyboard and mouse support.
Update 5.8 is not yet available on the Play Store; this version is upgraded to 5.6, the changelog missing the above laundry list. But the source code of the app and the APK file were posted by the team on Github, and they are also available for direct download on APK Mirror. The updated version is expected to arrive on the Play Store very soon. For more information, you can consult the forum thread.