The Proton 2022 roadmap

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At Proton, our mission is to create a better internet where privacy is the default. Our applications provide strong protection for your privacy and personal data and allow you to access information online. We are committed to our mission and continue to expand our ecosystem so that we can serve more people wherever and however they communicate online.

In January, we previewed our 2022 roadmap. In this post, we’re sharing a progress update with more detail on some of the upcoming releases. 

To give some context for the plan below, we want to quickly explain our engineering approach. We break up workflows into multiple teams, meaning that building a feature on Proton VPN does not slow down development on Proton Mail. There’s a similar separation between engineering and design in that working on design updates does not necessarily prevent work on features. This way, we can move the entire Proton privacy ecosystem forward in parallel.

Proton Mail

Proton Mail started the year with the following releases:

  • On our web app, we introduced enhanced tracking protection, a new dark theme for message content, and better integration with Proton Calendar.
  • We launched a new Proton Mail Bridge, including local cache improvements to enhance performance and an all-new user interface to make the Bridge experience more intuitive.

At the end of last year, we released new iOS and Android apps into beta. We have been busy implementing fixes based on your feedback over the past months, and we want to thank everybody who took the time to share feedback with us. We will launch the iOS version for everyone in the coming weeks, and we look forward to sharing more details with you soon.

As discussed in the January update, Android will require more work as we are rewriting more of the application, with a big focus on performance and stability. This means some Android features you have requested for Mail are not in our immediate scope for delivery. In particular, conversation view (also known as threading view) won’t make it into the first version of the new Android app, but we hope to deliver it soon after release. Thank you to everyone using the beta Android app for the helpful feedback you have sent us. We hope to be able to release the new Android app to everyone before the summer.

Also high up on our priority list is a revamp of Proton Mail’s push notification system that will make it possible to remove notifications for already-read messages on our mobile apps. This work is almost complete, and we plan to release this notification system into the mobile apps currently in beta in the next month. Also coming to mobile later this year is encrypted full-text search, which we released on our web app last year to everyone with a paid Proton Mail plan.

In Bridge, we’re working on material improvements to our core synchronization engine (the part of the app that manages the queuing of messages with a native mail client like Apple Mail) and our backend mail servers at Proton. This work is ongoing and on track for delivery later this year.

Finally, we’re experimenting with an Electron.js desktop app to take Proton Mail beyond the browser for Mac, Linux, and Windows. We’re still in the early stages, and we don’t have a beta or general release timeline just yet. But we know that a desktop app is high on the wishlist for many of you, so we thought you’d like to know it’s on our radar.

Proton VPN

Proton VPN is at the forefront of helping people everywhere access information and bypass censorship. At this perilous moment in world history, people impacted by war are relying on Proton VPN to communicate freely within and beyond their borders. At Proton, we are committed to protecting access to the public internet for everyone. That is why we are working around the clock to grow our Free server infrastructure so that Proton VPN can provide secure and private internet access to as many people around the world as possible.

We focused on becoming one of the fastest VPN services this past year. We achieved this by developing our unique VPN Accelerator technology, adding the WireGuard VPN protocol, and progressively upgrading our entire infrastructure to 10 Gbps servers. These new additions have improved our VPN connection speeds by up to 400%. Our focus on performance will continue in 2022 as we add the following features:

  • Expanded streaming support to cover even more services and countries and improved streaming speeds
  • Faster BitTorrent support with port forwarding
  • Improved gaming and video-conferencing performance by introducing support for moderate NAT (network address translation)
  • Native support for third-party WireGuard clients and routers
  • Native browser extensions for the Chrome and Firefox browser families
  • Improved IP reputation, meaning fewer instances of VPN detection and CAPTCHAs
  • Improved anti-censorship capabilities

In parallel, we will continue to improve device and OS support. We released Proton VPN on Amazon Fire TV Stick earlier this year, and we will be releasing major updates to our apps on all platforms (including Linux).

Proton Calendar

The Proton Calendar Android app has been in public beta for several months and is gearing up for general release in a few weeks. We’ve heard from many of you during the beta period (again, thank you!) and incorporated your feedback to bring the app closer to feature parity with our Calendar web app. We’re also introducing capabilities unique to Android, such as a widget for quick access to your calendar from the home screen.

The team has been internally alpha testing the Proton Calendar iOS app in preparation for a limited beta release later this spring. We’re further behind on our feature set compared with Android due to limited iOS developer capacity in 2021. Fortunately, we kicked off the year fully staffed, and we’re aiming to do a general release later this summer.

Finally, regarding our Calendar web app, we will focus on improving integration with Proton Mail and Proton Contacts in 2022 while also developing more event and calendar sharing functionality, both of which have been widely requested.

Proton Drive

The Proton Drive web app is currently in beta for everyone with a paid Proton plan, but we will make it available on a Free plan in the next weeks and release it out of beta in the next few months. We will continue to develop more advanced functionality, such as the ability to share folders as well as files, more sophisticated file preview capabilities, and even more intuitive user interfaces.

Later in 2022, we will release Drive applications on Windows, iOS, and Android. As usual, these will be available in beta first, followed by a general release. The Proton Drive macOS client is also under development, but it will require more time and is currently not anticipated for beta release until closer to the end of the year.

Drive will follow a release and development trajectory similar to Proton VPN. We will first focus on the core feature set:

  • Securely storing, sharing, and managing files and folders
  • Previewing images, PDFs, and clips directly within Drive apps
  • Syncing and backing up local files with the online Proton Drive, all with end-to-end encryption 

Once we have developed these core features, we will add additional features, such as encrypted search, photo galleries, and collaboration capabilities.

Building a better internet

We have a lot of work ahead of us in 2022. We have carefully read your feedback and are working to build and release new features and products even faster. Your input is invaluable as we work to build a better internet where privacy is the default. We look forward to sharing more updates with you as we progress through our roadmap this year.

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