Proton has revealed its roadmap for the year 2022, to share its plans with users. It confirms that a ProtonMail desktop app is coming in the future.
The privacy-centric email service, has gained popularity over the years, but has lacked a proper standalone mail client. It can either be used directly from your browser, or as a PWA (Progressive Web APP) in Chromium-based browsers, or by using Proton Bridge in a third-party program like Thunderbird or Outlook. That feature, sadly, is locked behind a paywall, which makes it an exclusive benefit for premium users. There is an open source, unofficial client called ElectronMail which you can use to access your inbox on your computer, without the need of other apps or Bridge.
Proton desktop app for Windows, macOS and Linux
The official Proton desktop app for Windows, macOS and Linux, will be based on Electron. The company states that the program is still in the early stages of development, which explains why it did not reveal screenshots of the software. An ETA for the app’s release date has not been provided either.
Proton Drive free plan to be announced next week
Proton Drive is a secure cloud storage service that the company offers for its premium users. Though it debuted in late 2020, it is still in beta. According to the roadmap published at its blog, a Proton Drive free plan will be introduced next week. The beta test offers 500MB of free space, so it is possible the new plan will follow suit.
And just like the mail client, a Proton Drive app for Windows, iOS and Android is also being worked on, and is set to be released later this year. A macOS client for Drive is also in development, but it is not expected to be read until the end of 2022. The Drive apps will also bring some improvements to the core user experience, such as managing files and folders, viewing images, PDFs and video clips directly, along with the ability to sync local files and folders with the cloud with the built-in end-to-end encryption that the service is known for.
ProtonVPN extension for Firefox and Chrome
The roadmap outlines plans for ProtonVPN, which will gain support for more services, and offer, servers in more countries, and faster BitTorrent support with port forwarding. In addition to compatibility with WireGuard clients and routers, the company aims to reduce VPN detection and captchas on sites by offering better IP reputation. A ProtonVPN extension for Firefox and Chrome will be revealed this year, which should be welcome news for those who rely on the service for unblocking websites.
The Switzerland-based company is also testing a Proton Calendar iOS app internally, it will be available as part of a limited beta test this spring.
The big question is, will the ProtonMail desktop app be available for users in the free tier? Hopefully it will be free, while Proton Bridge for other programs, will remain a premium feature. It could be an interesting way to get new users on board, especially as a single account can be used for Mail, VPN, Calendar and Drive.
Do you prefer to access your mail via web browsers or a standalone program?