Yahoo Mail adds apps, infuses social media

Yahoo Mail - catching up?
Yahoo Mail - catching up?

The latest version of Yahoo Mail has today come out of beta and brings social networking and instant messaging integration, inbox apps and faster search functions to the aged mail system.

The new features bring Yahoo Mail kicking and screaming into the 21st century, offering a host of features that other webmail services have offered for some time to its 284 million users.

First up is inbox customisation with "vibrant themes" to "express their personalities", while apps like YouSendIt will make sending large files easier.

Speed demon

Yahoo says the performance of the new version is twice as fast as previous versions of Yahoo Mail, while a new search experience offers a 'refinement column' for sorting through search results. You do have to wonder why it's taken a search company so long to provide such an obvious and simple search solution.

Also coming to the updated version of Yahoo Mail is improved SpamGuard technology, Facebook, Windows Live and Yahoo Messenger contacts and chat from within the inbox and status updates and notifications from Facebook and Twitter.

Yahoo says this is all about providing easy online conversations, no matter how you prefer to chat.

"Yahoo's vision for online communications brings together all the tools that people use to connect — email, chat and social updates — and makes it easier for them to share content and engage in conversations with the people that matter most to them," said Blake Irving, chief product officer, Yahoo.

"We're delivering on this strategy with the latest version of Yahoo Mail, providing our hundreds of millions of users worldwide with a fun, engaging and constantly connected experience across desktop, mobile and tablet devices that keeps the conversation going – anytime, anywhere."

News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.