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Saturday, December 6, 2014

The advantages of Mozilla Thunderbird email client

Thunderbird is an email client (reader) from Mozilla. Like other applications from Mozilla (Firefox, Seamonkey Internet suite), Thunderbird is extendible by plugins which increases the functionality of the application.

There are many plugins available for Thunderbird. However, the ones that has the greatest impact are the ones that integrate Thunderbird into Google's ecosystem. They are gContactSync, Google Calendar Tab and Provider for Google Calendar.I will concentrate on gContactSync and Google Calendar Tab.

gContactSync allows Thunderbird users to integrate their Gmail address book into Thunderbird. This is particular useful for Android phone users as the phone's address book is backed up to and is integrated into their Gmail address book. This allows your phone's address book to be accessible from your computer. You may also update your phone's address book from your computer. In fact, if Thunderbird is installed with gContactSync on your desktop and laptop, you may update (synchronize) your address book on all your Android devices and computers in one go.

The most impressive plugin, imho, is Google Calendar Tab as it unleashes the power of Google's ecosystem in Thunderbird. With this plugin, you are able to view, edit, create and delete appointments in Google Calendar. The appointments that are created on your Android phone or tablet, using the Google Calendar app, may be viewed and edited in Thunderbird on your laptop or desktop. Likewise, any appointment created and/or edited in Thunderbird is accessible from your Android device within a few minutes in the Google Calendar app.

Besides providing a bidirectional support for Google Calendar in a tab in Thunderbird, it also provides access to all other Google services in a new tab. This blogspot post is being written from within Thunderbird. The above animated image was created from photos taken with my HTC AMAZE Android phone a few years ago using Photo. Adding a video to your blog post, from your Android phone, is as simple as clicking the add picture icon in the Blogspot menu bar and choosing the video from the "From The Phone" tab.

Imagine creating an appointment in Thunderbird's Google Calendar tab, use the Google Maps tab to get directions and travel time to your appointment and paste the information into the appointment details in the Calendar tab. You may also set pop-up alerts for the appointment for your Android devices that will alert you anywhere from 1 minute to a few weeks before the appointment. You may even use the Google Drive tab (available from the menu bar on the Google Calendar tab), to store files necessary for the appointment, on Google Drive. The files will be available in the Google Drive app on your Android device. Because both Google and Mozilla supports end to end encryption, your data is always secure.

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