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7/1/2010
04:28 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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New Yahoo Mail And IM Apps Target Android

Yahoo has introduced two new apps for Android meant to help keep Yahoo Mail and Messenger services in the game. It also debuted Web-based email for the iPhone.

Yahoo email users have had to rely on second-hand applications on the Android platform, which bakes Gmail support into the native core. That changes today with a new email application strictly for Yahoo email, as well as a new Yahoo Messenger application and Yahoo Search Widget for Android.

The email application offers a whole host of features that should make Yahoo mail users happy. According to Yahoo, the application can do the following:

  • Receive push notification of new email messages
  • Send emails to contacts from the Yahoo! Address Book as well as to contacts in the native phone address book
  • Search email messages by sender, recipient, subject and keywords
  • Upload photos as attachments directly from the phone's camera or the photo gallery
  • View and download attachments
  • Insert emoticons and rich text formatting into emails
  • Effectively manage and organize their Yahoo! Mail messages, folders, and spam
  • Easily toggle between the Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Messenger apps.
Yahoo says the application should also garner the attention of advertisers, as it will give them a better opportunity to engage with Yahoo mail users. The mail application is free and available immediately from the Android market.

So if the new Yahoo Messenger application. Its main features include:

  • Easily message friends, check friends' status updates and availability and update their personal status and availability
  • Send instant messages to friends via SMS text message
  • Multitask and stay connected with the app working in the background; with push notifications, consumers can easily catch new messages and friend requests
  • Get full use of emoticons and rich text formatting
  • Send photos to friends directly from the phone's camera or the photo gallery.
Dedicated IM clients on mobile devices are little better than SMS in my opinion, but some people still swear by IM. Yahoo's IM service is popular, and this should be a home win for Yahoo fans.

Last for Android, Yahoo has a new search widget. It helps Android users conduct Yahoo searches faster from the home screen. The widget also offers search suggestions as users type, and uses location data to serve up local results.

Yahoo isn't forgetting about the iPhone. Today it introduced a new Web-based Yahoo Mail app that makes use of HTML5. The new HTML5 app includes features such as:

  • View HTML messages; compose rich text messages, reply, search emails, and access folders while offline
  • Manage folders and create smart folders with messages from key contacts
  • Surface photos and video attachments directly within the mail preview
  • Enjoy a seamless experience with Yahoo! Mail across mobile and desktop.
These new applications and services for Android and the iPhone are long overdue from Yahoo. Without a mobile operating system of its own (and I am not suggesting it develop one), Yahoo has been behind Google in the mobile game. This helps it get back in the game -- at least a little bit. I haven't had a chance to download and test these applications yet, but they are free and are at least worth looking at. If you're a Yahoo Mail and/or Messenger addict, be sure to take the plunge.

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