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As It Turns 18, Yahoo Mail Undergoes One Of Its Biggest Overhaul Yet

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Yahoo Mail is turning 18 and the company has announced a spate of updates to its e-mail client to commiserate the occasion. The updates are pretty cool and from what we have seen so far, promise to present a cleaner and more mature experience to users. Lets take a look at the new Yahoo!, one feature at a time.

Access Multiple clients via the Yahoo mail app

One of my personal favorites, this feature will let you access your mail from other clients via the Yahoo mail app, the update is likely to prove particularly useful, now that almost everyone has multiple e-mail accounts — I have 3, hence the favoritism! — and it is quite cumbersome to log in into every account to check your mail. With this update, users will be able to pull mails from their, Hotmail and AOL inboxes and search across all of them from a single location. However, Gmail is not supported as of yet, which is actually a pity considering the number of Gmail users.

The “UNDO” Button

Yup, taking into account the human tendency to make decisions that are instantly regretted, Yahoo has decided to include an Undo button in its e-mail client. The button functions in a manner similar to its counterpart on Google Photos. As soon as you delete an e-mail — and before you’ve even had time to regret your decision — an undo button pops up near the bottom of the screen. Press it, and you are saved the trouble of having to sift through the contents of Trash/Recycle bin to restores the mail. The button is pretty handy in certain other situations too, such as when users accidentally move an e-mail to some other folder.

Optimization for Android and iOS

Yahoo has added a couple of personalization features that provide for a more intimate user experience on both Android and iOS. For example, the Android app now uses Google’s own Material Design and shows emails in the typical “conversation” format, ensuring that it is easier to keep track of your conversations with a certain contact.

The iOS version also features a couple of interesting add-ons. Searching for a contact from the contact bar for example, also surfaces the relevant e-mails from your Yahoo app. Some brand new shortcuts have also been introduced via the app.

Down with the Password!

In the era of fingerprint and retina scanners, the ancient password and security question is rapidly losing relevance. After all, who wants to have to lug around a bunch of long — and often complex — strings in our heads. As per Dylan Casey, VP of Products, Yahoo

We built a system that’s entirely complex, outdated, and doesn’t actually protect the user,

Realizing this, Yahoo has introduced “Account Key” via its latest update. The feature is pretty innovative and lets you access your email by means of a push notification that is sent to your device every time you try to login. Press yes, and you are logged in, press no and you are not. Sweet and simple!

However, we are still not sure about what happens if someone steals your device!

Search away with the brand new ‘Filters’

If like me, you are still hanging on to that first e-mail account you made when computers were something of a novelty, you probably have a few thousand emails in your inbox. This makes searching for a particular conversation, or picture, or document that you may have received/sent pretty hard, with searches yielding hundreds of results.

However after this update, you will be able to apply filters to you Yahoo mail searches and streamline them to pinpoint to a particular content or time period.

Previous searches are saved as well, so that you are saved the trouble of searching for the same thing multiple times. Handy!

Yahoo Avatars!

Making good its promise of linking the email client with social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin, Yahoo is introducing the “Avatar” feature with its latest update. Not only does it provide an added layer of security — since Yahoo will deliver mail only from authorized senders that pass its Domain-based Message Authentication and Conformance authentication policies — ‘Avatars’ will also let your mail service figure out and store details about your contact on a central ‘Contact card’.

Apart from your regular details, the nifty little card also includes other stats such as the number of e-mails exchanged, your mail history etc.

Rather like Facebook’s ‘people you may know’, the feature also suggests people you should add to an email chain based on the details it gleans from your contact cards.  As Fernando Delgado, Yahoo’s Senior Director of Products said,

(the feature) is especially helpful if you can’t remember where you met someone.

Well, In the face of rapidly increasing competition from other service providers such as Gmail and even OEMs such as Apple and Microsoft — which are pushing out their own email solutions — Yahoo seems to have put in a lot of work into improving its e-mail client and added quite a bit more sophistication and inclusiveness to the service.

However, whether or not this strategy will pan out and let it keep its users from choosing other providers — as they have been doing in droves until recently — is a question for the future to answer.

A bibliophile and a business enthusiast.

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