Yahoo Mail’s mobile app now does Caller ID, syncs photos

Yahoo may be a troubled company, with its multiple data breaches, SEC investigation, and delayed acquisition* proceedings, but its Yahoo Mail product still has 225 million monthly active users. Today, the company is rolling out a few changes to that service in an effort to boost adoption of the Yahoo Mail mobile app. Now, the app will do more than deliver your mail, it will also sync your mobile phone’s photos to the desktop and help you identify phone numbers via a new Caller ID feature.

The Caller ID feature is fairly clever, in fact. (Google/Gmail, please copy this?). It works to identify the incoming phone calls you receive by cross-referencing the telephone numbers with those found in your email inbox. Most people have hundreds of phone numbers in their email, the company explains, thanks to email signature lines and other references, but these aren’t necessarily saved in your phone’s contacts.

On iOS, the Yahoo Mail app takes advantage of a particular caller ID and block setting (Settings –> Phone –> Call Blocking & Identification). After installing the updated version of Yahoo Mail for iOS, users simply toggle the switch for the Yahoo Mail app on in order to enable the Caller ID function. This will also update names in your call history or when you dial the phone, Yahoo says.

The other feature arriving today is a photo upload function. The idea here is to make it easier to email photos from your phone when you’re on your desktop computer.

The feature integrates a new Yahoo photo and video sharing platform called “Tripod,” born out of Flickr, that also lets you do things like search photos by keyword.


The new Yahoo Mail mobile app on both iOS and Android now makes your Camera Roll’s photos available to you from your Yahoo Mail account on the desktop. Essentially, it’s enabling a background upload between your phone and the Yahoo Mail service, but the photos are not being made public, nor are they being posted to Flickr. Instead, only you, the signed-in Yahoo Mail user, can access the photos.

You can also search the photos using keywords to help you find the right ones you want to attach. The feature is not enabled by default, but can be switched on through Settings –> Photo Upload. Users can remove photos from Yahoo Mail without affecting their Camera Roll, the company notes.

The app will upload photos in their original size for screenshots and 1600px for all other images. Yahoo says it’s exploring 2048×1536 along with other resolutions, and may make changes in the future.

Both features are launching today in the updated mobile app found in the iTunes App Store (iOS ver. 4.13) and Google Play (Android ver. 5.13).

*Disclosure: Verizon is acquiring Yahoo, with plans to close later this year. Verizon own AOL, which owns TechCrunch.