Yahoo today launched a thoroughly redesigned Mail app for the iPhone and iPad which brings out a number of interesting feature additions and enhancements.
The new, much-improved Yahoo Mail 4.0 features password-free sign-in, way smarter search, contacts management, rich compose, the ability to use multiple mailboxes from services such as Outlook.com, Hotmail and AOL Mail, to name just a few.
“This month marks Yahoo Mail’s 18th birthday and we’re celebrating the occasion by giving you a brand new Yahoo Mail app that’s fast, intuitive and beautiful,” Yahoo said.
“The new app is fully redesigned. It’s more powerful, yet simple to use. And, of course, we’ve made a significant investment in the technology that powers the app, so it’s fast and responsive.”
And in addition to speed, smarts and support for multiple mailboxes, the app marks the introduction of something called Yahoo Account Key, basically a more secure and simple future alternative to the old password that simplifies the sign-in process.
Attention to detail
There’s indeed a lot to be excited for about Yahoo’s new Mail experience. In addition to cleaning up the interface so it’s easier on the eyes and more elegant than before, the app will now show the sender’s initials from a photo curated from Flickr’s image library.
You can swipe right on a message to mark it read or unread, long-tap to select multiple messages at once, check the latest headlines by tapping the Yahoo News icon in the top right corner and more.
If you tap anyone in an email, you’ll get their rich contact details that they’ve shared with you, such as name, company, title, email history and even recent tweets, regardless of whether or not the sender is in your address book.
Yahoo Mail’s new search lets you find a message, photo or attachment with a few taps.
“Most people search for things by the sender (either person or company), so we’ve made that the fastest and easiest way to search,” explains Yahoo. “Give us a couple of letters of a person’s name, and we’ll suggest the most likely contact.”
I’m happy to report that the much enhanced search feature does work as advertised. I particularly like how search results are organized into messages, photos and attachments I’ve exchanged.
When you’re searching by keyword, the app makes smart suggestions. Yahoo says these results get more relevant over time as the system searches across your messages, photos and attachments.
Now when you create a new email message in Yahoo Mail 4.0, you can now long-tap the Compose button to quickly send yourself an email. This is an excellent little gem of a feature, especially if you email yourself various reminders throughout the day.
Next, there’s a new plus button for adding photos and videos from your photo library.
By default, your media is scaled automatically but if you want to add photos and videos as standard attachments rather than inline content, tap the “…” on the photo to convert a photo or video to a regular attachment.
Manage multiple accounts
At long last, Yahoo Mail on both mobile and desktop supports third-party email providers, including Outlook.com, Hotmail and AOL Mail. Upon connecting these accounts, you’ll be able to use Yahoo Mail’s search, smart contacts, auto-suggest and rich compose across all your email accounts.
This feature is available globally today in the app. The desktop experience is available for U.S. English users today and will be coming soon to users outside of the U.S.
Go here for more details on managing multiple mailboxes in Yahoo Mail.
This is a really, really cool feature. Instead of typing in your credentials in order to use Yahoo Mail on your iPhone, the app takes advantage of a new secure sign-in system referred to as Yahoo Account Key.
Yahoo Account Key lets you access your Yahoo accounts from mobile devices without typing in your password. Instead, Account Key uses push notifications to provide a fast and secure way to access your Yahoo accounts.
In a blog post, Dylan Casey, Yahoo’s Vice President of Product Management, said Account Key is more secure than the traditional password because it prohibits anyone from signing in to access an account without the verification that Account Key provides.
It couldn’t be simpler: you just have to tap on ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to confirm your identity.
Once you activate Account Key – even if someone gets access to your account info – they can’t sign in. And should you lose your iPhone, you can still verify your identity through an email or SMS sent to alternative accounts and numbers.
Account Key is now available globally in the new Mail app and will be rolling out to other Yahoo apps later this year.
Yahoo Mail 4.0 changelog
Here are key highlights in Yahoo Mail 4.0 for iOS:
- All-new look: Experience the re-imagined Yahoo Mail app for iPhone and iPad
- Multiple mailbox support: Add AOL, Outlook or multiple Yahoo mailboxes and easily switch between them.
- Effortless attachments: Attach multiple photos and videos, all at once.
- Lightning-fast search: Search across all of your messages, contacts, files and photos, faster than ever.
In addition to these highlights and the aforementioned headline new features, Yahoo Mail 4.0 can now tap into Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to create contact cards with photos, email, telephone and social media information.
Check out multiple mailboxes in Yahoo Mail on desktop.
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Yahoo Mail, a 68.7-megabyte download, requires an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad with iOS 8.0 or later. The app is localized in English, Arabic, Bokmål, Norwegian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese.