Proton finally has a desktop app. The Swiss company, known for its privacy-focused alternatives to the Google Workspace apps, revealed a Windows and macOS application on Thursday that includes Proton Mail and Proton Calendar. The desktop app is currently available in beta for subscribers on the most expensive premium tier, but the company says it will launch for all Proton users in early 2024.
The company says the desktop app has a modern design with a clutter-free experience. Proton views the move as providing a leg up over Google. “While many people use email on desktop in a browser, desktop apps can still provide certain advantages such as better offline support,” Proton CEO Andy Yen wrote in a press release. “For this reason, we have decided to launch a desktop app, something that even Gmail does not provide.” The desktop app now gives Proton apps on all major platforms.
In addition to the desktop app, Proton is launching several new features for all platforms, including auto-forwarding email rules. Messages sent this way will be encrypted between Proton accounts, and it supports unencrypted auto-forwarding to non-Proton accounts. In addition, Proton Mail now integrates with customer relationship management (CRM) and customer support software as the company looks to grow its footprint in the business world.
Proton says encrypting forwarded messages while maintaining the security the company brands itself on was an enormous challenge. “Messages sent between Proton Mail accounts are always end-to-end encrypted by default,” Proton CTO Bart Butler wrote. “But to maintain end-to-end encryption for messages forwarded to other Proton users presented a huge technical challenge. We needed to figure out how to re-encrypt messages for different recipients without the server being able to access the content.”
Attachment previews are also available for all Proton Mail platforms. Previously, you had to download email attachments locally before viewing them. It now lets you see them directly from the inbox with one click. Proton says it does so without compromising security.
You can also now snooze Proton Mail messages in another catch-up move for the encryption-focused company. In addition, it spruced up the Proton Calendar with searches on the web while adding public holidays. The company has had a busy year, also launching a native Windows file-syncing app in July and a password manager in April.
Before it officially launches early next year, the Proton Mail desktop app is available now in beta for Proton Visionary subscribers. That tier was previously locked to legacy supporters, but the company has reopened registrations from now until January 3. (The plan isn’t cheap, though, at $40 monthly or $360 annually.) Meanwhile, auto-forwarding is available now for paid users on any plan, while attachment previews, snoozing and calendar improvements are here for everyone with a Proton account.
This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/proton-mail-now-has-a-desktop-app-in-beta-110021703.html?src=rss