Two months after adding support for Microsoft Outlook, Hotmail and AOL Mail to its email app, Yahoo announced today that Gmail has also joined that list. The app can now connect users’ Gmail and Google Apps accounts to Yahoo Mail.
Multiple mailbox support for Gmail within Yahoo Mail was launched in both the mobile app for Android and iOS and in a desktop browser version. Gmail is the world’s most widely-used Webmail service.
Yahoo said that it has expanded its server-side IMAP support to bring the feature to users of its mail app, letting users with Gmail accounts receive and send all their e-mails under a single third-party client.
“All the features you need and love in Yahoo Mail — powerful search, smart contacts, rich compose features and Yahoo Account Key for password-free sign-in — are now available with Gmail,” wrote Shiv Shankar, a Yahoo senior product manager, on Yahoo’s blog.
Users who want to connect their Gmail accounts with Yahoo Mail can do so via their account settings in the Yahoo Mail mobile app or on the company’s Web site.
We reached out to Al Hilwa, program director, software development research at IDC, who told us that Yahoo’s move reflects how the battle for users has shifted to mobile, and that it’s generally positive for users that there are many competing client apps.
“Most users with multiple e-mail boxes are typically using a work e-mail and a personal e-mail, and there are advantages for combining them in one client, though many choose to keep them separate,” said Hilwa.
Hilwa added that a drawback of combining e-mail accounts is that it can give one company, i.e., Yahoo, the ability to track users’ e-mail interactions. Integrating Gmail is good for advertising, but it’s not a win for individual privacy, he said.
This week’s update includes only Gmail support, not the new design elements introduced in October when Yahoo began offering support for Microsoft Outlook, Hotmail and AOL Mail. Support for those platforms also featured several functional enhancements, including new and more informative contact forms, increased inbox security, search filters for in-mail searches and an undo button for sent emails that users want to retract. At that time, Yahoo also rolled out the Yahoo Account Key feature, which simplifies the login process.
Also this week, Yahoo introduced a new Video Guide app. The app lets users search across various content providers such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, to find the shows or movies they want to watch.
The app’s Mood Picker lets users look for specialized categories and subgenres that interest them by tapping GIFs that best match their moods and then it elicits recommendations from the app. An in-app playback button then directs the users to the appropriate providers on their phones, where they can start watching immediately.
Yahoo Video Guide is available immediately for free download in the U.S. via the App Store and Google Play.
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