Yahoo Launches New Mobile Mail App And Eliminates Passwords

Yahoo on Thursday launched a new mobile mail app that allows you to integrate multiple accounts and rid yourself of passwords.

Although the app for the first time supports other email providers, it does not support Gmail or enterprise Outlook accounts. So it’s a great tool for receiving all the emails on those Yahoo, personal Outlook, Hotmail or AOL accounts you never deleted.

Yahoo’s new app connects with Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Using the power of your social networks, the app pulls photos and contact information for the people who send you emails. The app also pulls in photos from Flickr so that every account has an avatar picture — even if it’s just of initials.

Yahoo Mail

Based on the demo given at Yahoo’s San Francisco offices, the app seems speedy. Available in iOS and Android, it incorporates gestures familiar to phone users. Swiping right marks a message as read, and swiping left deletes it. If you long press, you can select multiple messages.

The company sought to improve attachments by allowing you to send photos and emails right in the message, rather than as an attachment at the bottom. The company also noted that many people send email reminders to themselves, so they made it so you can send an email right to yourself by holding the compose button down.

Yahoo upped its search efforts with its latest redesign. The company has improved how you search by sender, and it offers smart suggestions. Jeff Bonforte, Yahoo’s chief of communications products, said the tool is so smart that if you select the personal email of one of your contacts, it will suggest personal emails for all of the other people you add to a message.

The app does not incorporate Yahoo Livetext, the company’s new video messaging app, at this time. However you can access Yahoo News within the app.

Eliminating Passwords

The company on Thursday also launched Account Key so, as Yahoo put it, you can be “password free.” The premise is pretty similar to on-demand passwords. When you log into your account, rather than entering your password you select a button that sends you a push notification on your phone. You then select the push notification, open the app, which asks you if you are attempting to log in.

Once you approve the log-in on your phone, the account opens in your browser — whether that’s on mobile or desktop. The company has also introduced backup features in the event you lose your phone or the battery dies. It can also text or email you a password.

The product is Yahoo’s response to high profile hacks as many people continue to use the same passwords across multiple accounts. However it’s unclear how many people will adopt such a service. Currently only 3 to 4 percent of users take advantage of Yahoo’s on demand password services. The typical Yahoo account owner may just stick with “Password123” rather than dealing with a service that could go awry when you’re separated from your phone.

Account Key will launch with Yahoo accounts, and Dylan Casey, vice president of product, says the company has no plans to use the service as an authentication method for other services, like social networks. However he said it’s possible Yahoo would if the product is successful.