Proton has unveiled its roadmap for the year 2022, to share its plans with users. This confirms that a ProtonMail desktop app is coming.
The privacy-centric email service has grown in popularity over the years, but lacked a true standalone email client. It can be used either 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. This feature, unfortunately, is locked behind a paywall, making it an exclusive perk for premium users. There is an unofficial open source client called ElectronMail that you can use to access your inbox on your computer, without needing any other apps or Bridge.
Proton desktop app for Windows, macOS and Linux
The official Proton desktop application for Windows, macOS and Linux will be based on Electron. The company says the program is still in the early stages of development, which is why it hasn’t revealed any screenshots of the software. An ETA for the release date of the app was also not provided.
Proton Drive’s free plan will be announced next week
Proton Drive is a secure cloud storage service that the company offers to its premium users. Although it debuted in late 2020, it is still in beta. According to the roadmap posted on its blog, a free Proton Drive plan will be introduced next week. The beta test offers 500MB of free space, so the new plan may follow.
And just like the email client, a Proton Drive app for Windows, iOS and Android is also in the works and is expected to be released later this year. A macOS client for Drive is also in development, but it’s not expected to release until late 2022. Drive apps will also bring some basic user experience improvements, such as file and folder management, viewing images, PDFs, and directly video clips, plus the ability to sync local files and folders to the cloud with the built-in end-to-end encryption the service is known for.
ProtonVPN extension for Firefox and Chrome
The roadmap outlines plans for ProtonVPN, which will get support for more services and offer servers in more countries and faster BitTorrent support with port forwarding. Along with compatibility with WireGuard clients and routers, the company aims to reduce VPN detection and captchas on sites by providing better IP reputation. A ProtonVPN extension for Firefox and Chrome will be unveiled this year, which should be good news for those who rely on the service to unblock websites.
The Swiss-based company is also testing an iOS Proton Calendar app internally, which will be available as part of a limited beta test this spring.
The big question is, will the ProtonMail desktop app be available for free tier users? Hopefully it will be free, while Proton Bridge for other programs will remain a premium feature. This could be an interesting way to attract new users, especially since a single account can be used for Mail, VPN, Calendar and Drive.
Do you prefer to access your email through web browsers or a standalone program?