Yahoo Mail remains the most popular webmail service in the U.S., according to internet traffic-measuring firm comScore, with 84 million monthly unique users, but only by the thinnest of margins. Meanwhile Gmail, at 70 million is poised to surge past it. In another trend, the Apple iPhone is becoming a top way people consume email. So while Yahoo! Mail for iPhone (free), may have arrived a little too late to stem the Gmail tide, it helps Yahoo’s cause by delivering a much richer email experience than the one iPhone owners are accustomed to in the bundled Mail app.
The Yahoo! Mail app is similar to Gmail’s standalone iPhone app (free, 5 stars) in many ways, while still retaining plenty of the core Yahoo! identity, although Gmail goes above and beyond. Like Gmail’s app, Yahoo! Mail for iPhone centralizes your whole email account so that you can access everything in it with greater efficiency. By comparison, the included Mail app puts the inbox at the fore and makes getting into other folders and settings much more difficult.
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Many people, I’m sure, will continue to the use the iPhone’s built-in Mail as their primary email application, because it can show you many inboxes from multiple services at once, but you’ll want Yahoo!’s app if you use Yahoo! Mail fairly regularly, particularly if you want detailed push notifications, which will flash the subject line of new emails on your screen, and for emails formatted in HTML.
Mail vs. Yahoo,Galaxy S4 Case! Mail
The Yahoo! Mail app has an interface design that mirrors both Gmail for iPhone and Facebook for iPhone (and now many other apps, too), in that a collapsible menu pane swings into view from the left. Toggle the menu open, and it takes up not more than half the screen so that it’s roomy and easy to read. Here, you’ll find your folders, such as Inbox, Spam, and Sent, as well as all the custom folders you’ve made. Trash,samsung s3 cases, Drafts, Contacts, and Outbox live here, too. Missing from Yahoo!’s app but present in Gmail’s is an “all mail” option, which you’d want if you need to search for an item across your entire account. It’s no surprise that Google, the first name in search, gets the significance of having an “all mail” area from which to search.
Toward the bottom of the menu panel are apps, like Yahoo!’s general app, as well as apps for Finance and Messenger. Press these app icons, and the affiliated program will launch if you have it installed, or you’ll be whisked to the iTunes store and prompted to download it.
At the very end of the menu are Tools, namely Settings (which are light), and then two buttons for “Share This App” and “Rate This App.” Yahoo! could have done better to drop those last two promotional buttons and instead include more in the Settings, like out-of-office or vacation message controls, as Gmail has done. The Settings in Yahoo! Mail cover the bare minimum: confirm delete (on or off), confirm mark as spam (on or off), signature, and areas to report a problem or read more about Mail (which only shows the version number of the app). The recent update to the Yahoo Mail app now sets the confirmations off by default, which will streamline most users email activities.
New for the latest update of the Yahoo Mail is is the ability to mark what the service has shunted to the Spam folder as “not spam” and have it delivered to the inbox. As you’d probably guess, this is something already available in the Gmail app.
When you first install the app and log in, you can opt to receive push notifications, which Yahoo! has designed well but implemented less successfully. Standard push notification displays—like being able to see the subject line and sender of a new email from the lock screen—work right, but the badge number count of unread mails is buggy. It continues to tell me I have one unread piece of mail, even though all my messages are clearly read. The Mail app knows all the email has been opened, so something’s off in Yahoo!’s app.
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Emails display cleanly, even those built in HTML (see the slideshow). I’m not sure if some of my image-rich messages loaded in full because I’ve marked the sender as safe, but in the stock Mail app, the same messages appear as having broken images.
There are two more areas where Gmail’s iPhone app trumps Yahoo!’s: threaded messages and support for multiple accounts. The iPhone’s built-in email client can also thread messages, but Gmail’s app always color-codes email threads by sender, so you can tell at a glance when a new person replies. Google also lets you have multiple Gmail accounts right in the one mobile app. Yahoo! just doesn’t offer these features, although it has only just been released. Over time, it may learn from its competition.
How Should You Access Yahoo! Mail on iPhone?
Both the Yahoo! Mail app for iPhone and the native Mail app connected to a Yahoo! account do a fine job of getting your messages to you when you’re not in front of a full-sized computer. Which one you choose is largely a matter of how you use email. The Yahoo! app works well for those who to go every nook and cranny, from custom folders to the outbox, frequently. It’s also much more engaging for graphic-rich emails. But to see all your mail from all your accounts at once, the Mail app is still the place to be.
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