Thunderbird Gets Unity Integration

Thunderbird Gets Unity Integration

Ubuntu is getting a brand new user interface, called Unity, in its next release – Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narhwal”. As you are probably aware, Ubuntu uses Evolution as the default email client, and so Thunderbird integration for Unity is not a priority for Canonical. However, Mike Conley of Mozilla has been hard at work coming up with a way to integrate Thunderbird into the Unity Launcher and he has just released the first Thunderbird extension that does just that for testing .

The Thunderbird Unity Launcher extension provides a really cool integration of Thunderbird into Ubuntu’s Unity launcher. With the extension installed, the number of new unread messages in Thunderbird is displayed at the top-left of the Thunderbird icon in the launcher. Not only that, right clicking on the Thunderbird icon brings up a context menu item. From the context menu, users can easily open the contact list or compose a new email.

Since this is only for testing now, this feature is  available  in the form of a Thunderbird add-on. To test this feature users need to be running the 32-bit version of Ubuntu 11.04. There are no 64-bit builds available now. However, after the testing this feature will be integrated into Thunderbird and will be available to users of 64-bit versions of Ubuntu as well.

To install test the Thunderbird Unity integration, click on the link given below and install it.

Unity Launcher Integration 0.1

After installing the add-on, you will get the unread message count in the Unity launcher. However to get the context menu, you have to log off and then login again.

Remember  this is add-on is currently released for testing and you might run into bugs.  If you do encounter any bug, you can report it at  bugs.launchpad.net/unitylauncher-extension

Here is a video of the Thunderbird Unity  Integration  in action:

Thunderbird Ubuntu Unity Launcher Integration from Mozilla Messaging on Vimeo.

[via Mozilla Labs]

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