ProtonMail Release Date Delayed Until February 18th

EDIT Feb 18, 2016: We have published a release update here: https://protonmail.com/blog/protonmail-release-update/

Back in December, we announced that ProtonMail would be officially released next Tuesday. However, after an extensive discussion yesterday with all of our teams, it became clear that the release date needs to be moved back. There were two primary factors that drove this decision.

The first was user feedback regarding ProtonMail 3.0 which we released into beta on Wednesday. While the vast majority of users welcomed ProtonMail 3.0, there were also a lot of people who disliked it. In the past couple days, we have read through over 1000 bug reports and suggestions submitted by users, and we now have good insight into many of the issues certain users are facing.

For the time being, users who are having difficulty with ProtonMail 3.0 can still use ProtonMail 2.1, which can be found at v2.protonmail.com. We are aware that there are issues with mobile responsiveness and smaller resolution displays, and we are making fixing that a priority. We would like to thank everybody who has submitted feedback so far. Please keep sending us feedback as you use ProtonMail 3.0 more and more. Our goal is to respond to the needs of the community that has always donated to support ProtonMail over the years. We do read and take to heart all of your feedback. The upcoming ProtonMail 3.1 will address many of the biggest issues that have been brought up this week.

On the other side of the spectrum, we also have a problem with users liking ProtonMail 3.0 too much. In the past two days, there was a 300% increase in ProtonMail usage, even though the number of users has not increased (we have not sent new invites in a while now). Many users have switched to ProtonMail as their primary email now, resulting in much higher than anticipated server load. Inviting all waiting list users and also opening to the public would likely stress our infrastructure. Thus, we also need some time to bring more servers online.

After much analysis yesterday, we anticipate we will need until February 18th to complete work for ProtonMail 3.1 so our release will be delayed by approximately 3 weeks. Other new features of ProtonMail such as custom domains, and the iOS and Android applications are in fact ready, but their public launch dates will also have to be moved until February 18th. We know this news will come as a disappointment for many users, but our first priority is to always offer a highly reliable and easy to use encrypted email service. To accomplish this, we have to focus fully on resolving existing version 3.0 issues before adding more features.

Users who wish to support ProtonMail and get the mobile apps now can still participate in the ProtonMail mobile app beta. We are also considering rolling out custom domains early as part of a closed preview for users who have donated to ProtonMail in the past, so stay tuned for more updates about this.

We want to thank our community for your understanding and your support of ProtonMail, from our initial crowdfunding campaign until now. You are the ones that have gotten ProtonMail this far, and together we are building a world where everybody can have online privacy. Our team will be working as quickly as possible over the next several weeks, and if there is any possibility to move up the release date, we will certainly do so.

Faithfully yours,
The ProtonMail Team

P.S. Even though ProtonMail won’t publicly release out of beta until February 18th, it is still possible to sign up for the beta at https://protonmail.com/invite. We will be sending more beta invites before the official release.

About the Author

Andy Yen

Andy is the Founder and CEO of Proton, the company behind ProtonMail and ProtonVPN. He is a long time advocate of privacy rights and has spoken at TED, SXSW, and the Asian Investigative Journalism Conference about online privacy issues. Previously, Andy was a research scientist at CERN and has a PhD in Particle Physics from Harvard University. You can watch his TED talk online to learn more about our mission.