Thunderbird 3a3 Released

Mozilla Messaging has released Shredder (Thunderbird 3) Alpha 3. Originally planed as Beta 1, the Thunderbird team reversed its decision as there’s still plenty of work to be done including the most expected integration with the Lightning extension to provide calendaring features.

What’s New in Shredder Alpha 3

There were over 250 changes in this release, many laying the groundwork for future changes. Some notable changes include:

User Experience Improvements

  • Improved Message Reader View
    • This is the first stage of a series of improvements to refine the message reading experience; the first stage brings email controls closer to area in which the user is operating.
  • Add/Edit Contacts from the Message Header
    • We now provide at-a-glance indication if someone is already in your address book, if they are not, you add them with one click. You can also edit contact details inline.
  • Integrated Vista Search
    • Windows Vista users can now choose to see Thunderbird email and news messages in Windows search results. On first start Thunderbird will prompt to install its indexing system into Windows Vista.
  • Birthday Field in Address Book
    • You can now enter the dates of your contacts birthdays into the address book.

Performance improvements

  • Automatic Message Download for IMAP
    • Thunderbird will now download IMAP messages in the background to allow for faster message loading, and better off-line operation.
    • This feature can be enabled on an individual folder basis (via folder properties), or for all folders in an account, via Account Settings / Sync & Disk Space.

For a more detailed list of bug fixes, see the Rumbling Edge.

You can download Shredder in several localized builds from Mozilla Messaging.