Windows/Mac/Linux: Mozilla has released a new preview version of their desktop email application in the form of Thunderbird 3 Beta 4, adding a new email search, smart folders, and more.
If you’re a Thunderbird user, you’re probably familiar with what the open-source mail manager can already do, so here’s an edited shortlist of notable new features and improvements:
New Search with Advanced Filtering Tools: Search results now include advanced filtering tools. You have the option to filter your results by sender, tag, attachments, people, folder, and mailing list. You can also filter your email using the timeline tool.
Smart Folders: The folder pane offers a Smart Folders mode which combines special mailboxes, like Inbox, from multiple accounts. Smart Folders is now on by default.
Improved Gmail Integration: Better recognition and integration of Gmail’s special folders such as Sent and Trash including non-English versions of Gmail. Thunderbird also uses All Mail as the Archives folder.
Improved Gmail integration is definitely a welcome improvement, as Thunderbird is one of the best ways to access Gmail when the web version is down. And while we haven’t had much time to play with smart search filtering, that also seems like an area a desktop client like Thunderbird can succeed in leaps and bounds past webmail interfaces, if you invest the time to learn them.