The year 2017 has been an exciting one at Nylas and we’d like to update you on the future of Nylas Mail. When we announced Nylas Mail (then Nylas N1) back in May 2015, we had no idea what the response would be. It began as an experiment to see what the mail client of the future might look like given the work we’d done on our APIs to make email easier for developers to work with. Since then, it’s been energizing to see the community rally around the project, file issues, submit pull requests, and build dozens of plugins and themes.
In the last few years, the Nylas API has exploded—we now sync terabytes of messages every day across hundreds of thousands of mailboxes for our API customers. This spring, as the API business grew, we had to tap the Nylas Mail engineering team to work on API developer experience and infrastructure. The entire team has done a fantastic job, growth has continued, and it’s become clear that Nylas must focus all its energy on a single opportunity.
With that in mind, beginning today we’re open-sourcing the remaining components of Nylas Mail and sunsetting further Nylas-sponsored development of the email client.
The full Nylas Mail repository is on Github at https://github.com/nylas/nylas-mail/ . We’re also re-licensing Nylas Mail under the MIT License, allowing people to use and remix the source code without worrying about complex license terms, and we’re unlinking the project from our private infrastructure. This means that if you download and run Nylas Mail from GitHub, you no longer need to login to a Nylas ID and your mail credentials are not sent to the cloud.
If you’re interested in Nylas Mail as a user, you will still be able to download Nylas Mail and create a new account. What this announcement means is that the current version of Nylas Mail is the last one we will sponsor as a company. That means we at Nylas won’t continue contributing to or maintaining the open source code on which the program is built. Rest assured, if you already have an account it will continue working - with all plugins, both free and paid - for the foreseeable future.
Finally, beginning October 1, 2017, N1 coupon code users will be required to pay $84/year, to help offset N1-related infrastructure expenses. (Actually, and happily, all coupon code users have gotten more than the free year the coupon provided.) Please note, folks on other subscription plans will still need their subscriptions to have Pro features enabled on their Nylas accounts.
If you’d prefer to cancel your N1 or Nylas Mail subscription, please visit https://billing.nylas.com to cancel your subscription. If you’ve forgotten your credentials, you can visit https://billing.nylas.com/forgot to reset your password and cancel your account.
Over time, we expect the open source community will step up to offer alternatives to Nylas Mail. In fact, we already know of two community-developed alternatives:
- Nylas Mail Lives is a fork of Nylas Mail that fixes many longstanding issues, improves the client experience, and is committed to publish new releases. This fork is free to use and has a large group of contributors that gather at https://nylasisalive.slack.com .
- Mailspring is a rewritten fork of Nylas Mail using a C++ engine, that has the same subscription model and pro features.
Open source is deeply rooted in our culture -- Nylas founder and CTO Christine Spang is a Debian core contributor, and we previously open sourced our sync engine, SDKs and perf tools! We’re committed to ensuring Nylas Mail lives on as open source. The majority of the client is already open source on GitHub, and today we’re extending that to include:
- The Pro plugins for snooze, send later, open tracking, link tracking, reminders, Salesforce.com integration, and more.
- The server-side APIs and workers that power these plugins.
I’ll be doing an AMA on Hacker News on Thursday, September 7th from 1pm PT to 2pm PT to answer questions about these changes. I’ve invited contributors to the forks to join me then as well.
Lastly, to all our open source contributors and users — thank you! It’s been a lot of fun, pain and learning as together we’ve explored the future of desktop email. We can’t wait to see where the community takes Nylas Mail next!