The majority of emails today are read from mobile devices, and Yahoo aims to make that process even easier by killing the password.
On Thursday, Yahoo released an updated, more mobile-friendly email application for both iOS and Android devices. The Yahoo Mail overhaul includes a new user interface that emphasizes speed and mobile usability, a smarter search engine, immediate access to Yahoo News, and contact profiles that can now be integrated with social media.
The new Yahoo Mail app can also manage email accounts from alternative email vendors, including AOL, Hotmail and Outlook.com.
The updated email app also features the new “Yahoo Account Key,” which replaces traditional email protection by enabling users to sign into their inbox without a password. By linking their Yahoo account to a mobile device, consumers can access their account instead via push notification.
Yahoo claims the Yahoo Account Key feature will provide more security than passwords, which can easily be guessed by hackers. Yahoo email users may, however, still continue to use passwords if they prefer.
"This is clearly a move from Yahoo in response to a decline in email users over recent years,” said Guillaume Lelait, general manager at Fetch. He pinpoints the growth of Google’s Gmail in recent years as a likely culprit.
As people are increasingly accessing their email via mobile exclusively, the major players need to create the most seamless and secure user experience in order to win the market share,” says Lelait. “Facebook and Google are leading the way in mobile and Yahoo is continuing to take big strides to up its mobile focus."
That commitment to mobile helped Yahoo shares close today at $33.48, an increase of 4.33%.