Yahoo Mail now lets you block images, web UI gains improved Folders, compose and more

yahoo mail

Yahoo keeps on meticulously improving both its Mail service on the web and companion mobile apps. Today, the firm has bumped Yahoo Mail for iPhone to version 2.0.6 which comes with your usual dose of bug fixes and performance improvements, in addition to one new feature: the ability to block images.

Now available in the App Store, a new setting lets you tell the app to skip loading images in HTML-styled email.

Security-minded users will love this feature given that spammers and attackers typically use embedded images to tell whether you have opened the message, sometimes even using images to leverage security exploits.

Yahoo’s web interface has also received its fair share of enhancements, including improved handling of folders, new shortcuts, an improved multitasking chat and more…

For starters, here’s Yahoo’s Mail app icon, recently refreshed with iOS 7 styling.

Yahoo Mail 2.0.6 for iOS (app icon, small)

Why keep the gloss effect, though?

I guess somebody forgot to read their ‘Designing for iOS 7’ guidelines.

Yahoo Mail 2.0.6 changelog lists the following items:

  • Security enhancement: Image blocking now available in settings.
  • Bug fixes and performance improvements.

And this is where you enable image blocking.

Yahoo Mail 2.0.6 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 001)

On the web UI end, Yahoo has improved how you file individual messages in folders, introduced an all-new compose window, added new shortcuts and boosted the chatting experience during multitasking.

Improvements to Folders

Yahoo has decided to keep your email folders on the lefthand side visible at all times for easier access, a change it claimed has been the most requested feature in its user feedback forum. The persistent Folders interface makes it easy to file messages by way of drag-and-drop, or quickly find what you’re looking for. To  create a new folder, hover over ‘Folders’ and click the plus sign.

Yahoo Mail (Folders, web interface 001)

App shortcuts

To make navigating between your Yahoo Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Notepad and Messenger apps easier, there’s now a row of icons for these apps on the upper-left side of your inbox, right above the compose button. “If you use tabs, this change gives you the extra space to fit in more tabs,” the company explained.

Yahoo Mail (shortcut icons, web interface 001)

Yahoo Messenger and multitasking

Fans of Yahoo’s Messenger service on the web have been able to use chat right inside Mail’s web interface for ages. A rather minor change has improved the experience during multitasking by making your buddy list and chats float in a window on top of Yahoo Mail, similar to Gmail.

Yahoo Mail (Chat, web interface 001)

All-new message compose experience

Three major improvements here, starting with the auto-complete feature for people’s names and email addresses. Again, just like in Gmail, typing a contact’s name (or their email, initials, school name or company name) into the To, Cc and Bcc lines will automatically pre-populate the auto-suggest list with the most relevant email addresses.

The list will also suggest items from the email addresses you’ve ever used or seen in your inbox. Quick tip: before typing anything, press the down arrow on the keyboard to see the top six email address matches. To hide an email address from the auto-suggest drop-down menu, hit the ‘X’ sign to the right of the suggestion.

Yahoo Mail (Compose UI, web interface 001)

Yahoo Mail now puts a face to the name by showing the full name and photo (from Facebook and Yahoo Profiles) of your recipient. Now it’d be a wise idea to link your Yahoo account to Facebook in order to get as many profile photos as possible.

As a bonus, navigating over to your contacts and selecting his or her name puts up a handy card showing a quick snapshot of your most recent interactions (emails and attachments) with said person. These contact-specific features leverage a technology from Xobni, which Yahoo acquired last year.

Yahoo Mail (Contacts, web interface 001)

Finally, Smart Suggestions are nice.

After you select the first person to email, Auto-Suggest shows people you tend to email with that person, making it faster to email groups together.

Yahoo is in the process of launching the enhanced web UI to all Mail users around the world over the next couple of days so the changes may not have gone live for you yet.

Catering to the impatient types, Yahoo has set up a priority list here letting you sign up to be one of the first to try Auto-Suggest before it’s rolled out worldwide.

You can download Yahoo Mail 2.0.6 free from the App Store.

The universal binary supports natively any iPhone, iPod touch and iPad device supported by iOS 6.0 or later.

So, how do you like the aforementioned changes so far?

Do you use Yahoo Mail and if not, what’s your go-to webmail service?