03-31-2023 08:44 AM
I love Thunderbird and I use it almost exclusively to deal with my multiple email accounts (Windows 10).
However, the frequency of updates in conjunction with the attention-seeking pop-ups to update is killing my enjoyment of the application.
I usually have Thunderbird open to respond to email but sometimes attention is unnecessarily disrupted by the app "flashing" in the taskbar. I automatically open the app and am greeted by a modal pop-up (in top-right) that tells me the app needs an update. Neither of these two behaviors are something I find acceptable for a desktop application. It cannot be that important to update the 3rd time in a week with minor cosmetic changes. I should not have my workflow disrupted to respond to such an non-critical event.
I see two ways that this could be resolved to avoid the current situation:
1. Allow the user to modify how often Thunderbird checks for updates; Daily, weekly or monthly updates would be amazing and put the user back in control over the app.
2. Make the update prompt less drastic, I think an app should be "quiet unless spoken to" and currently Thunderbird misbehaves by: i) flashing in the taskbar (even when it's not in focus!), ii) A focus-stealing pop-up with update prompt when application is opened. By removing or weakening the urgency of these pop-ups the updates would be made less disruptive.
I find i) to be the biggest offender since this can seriously disrupt the user no matter what they are doing on their computer. But ii) is a close second, currently the box asks (in this normalized dark-pattern) whether I would like to update now or later. If I choose later it's as if Thunderbird suddenly acquires dementia because it will keep asking every time I open the app. I can understand this behavior from a less critical application, such as say Notepad++, which does not need to be running constantly to fulfill it's function. But an email-client has different use-cases and should be able to run in the background without disrupting the user with internal messages, barring something exceptional such as a security update.
P.S I understand I can enable automatic updates but that would leave me open for potential crashes which I cannot risk, first and foremost I must be able to send and receive email.