Over the past few months Yahoo Mail has come with a host of improvements to its mail service. Yahoo Mail is trying to bring a desktop experience with all its icons to a web mail product. Some of the new fancy features of Yahoo Mail are:
SMS integrated in its email:
A few weeks ago Yahoo announced built in SMS capabilities with their Mail. This enhancement lets people send SMS text messages from computers to mobile phones. Of course the messaging feature depends on cooperation of mobile phone service providers and is currently limited to USA, India, Canada and Philippines. It means you can instant message your colleague or friend for free through mail when he is partying which is a great thing. This service is still not rolled out to all accounts.
Superior Address Book:
Yahoo Mail contact management is far superior to Gmailâ€™s. Gmail assumes that every person to whom you send an email needs to be added to the contact book. How stupid of Gmail. Also in Gmail you canâ€™t start an email and then go to contacts and select contacts to add to the email. Clearly Yahoo Mail contact management is better.
Yahoo announced that it now offers unlimited storage facility. Gmail gives 3GB which I think is more than enough. Nevertheless unlimited is any day better.
RSS built into Mail:
Yahoo Mail has incorporated an RSS within its email. This may be looked at as an added advantage.
Drag & Drop Capability:
You can drag a mail and put it in any folder you like which is not possible in Gmail.
Despite these improvements Yahoo Mail still lags behind and canâ€™t live up to Gmailâ€™s simple user friendly and elegant interface.
Here are the areas in which Gmail excels and why I prefer Gmail to Yahoo Mail
As I already said Gmailâ€™s simple, elegant, less cluttered and Spartan interface is a great boon. I donâ€™t need a ton of features but a simple look where there is no confusion.
No Graphic Flash Ads:
Gmail is clean and provides for more space to read each Mail. Yahoo Mail has annoying graphic ads that float on the right hand side distracting the user from the content of a mail. It is irritating and space consuming. Gmail also incorporates ads in its mail but they are unobtrusive and are purely text ads. If Yahoo wants to monetize mail it should do so smartly and cleverly.
Amazing Spam Filter:
Gmail has an amazing spam filter; Yahoo Mail’s spam filter is poor. I have a Gmail and a Yahoo Mail and get tons of spam in both but the difference is that Gmail filters it very well and less than 5% of them make it to my inbox. Yahoo spam filters leave a lot to be desired. With Yahoo Mail quite a few find their way to the inbox. This pisses me off.
Threaded Conversation Capability:
Gmail pioneered with its threaded style of conversation. For a long time I was not comfortable with threaded archiving of mails but now I love it. It is much easier to track an email, reply to a specific email or delete and forward a mail.
Ability to Create Labels:
Gmail provides for Labels instead of Folders. In fact this is better than folders. You can give more than one label to an email and all the messages are still in the inbox and when required are available separately if you click on the required label.
Tendency of Corporate Servers to Treat Yahoo Mail as Spam:
One important note is that you’re more likely to get an email sent from Yahoo rejected out of a corporate server as spam. Most filters seem to automatically treat anything with @Yahoo.com as spam. With Gmail the possibility of this happening is lesser. With Yahoo when you send a Mail to your own work email id be prepared to have it not delivered â€“ Not even to the bulk mail folder of your Outlook at work.
Encrypted Login Capability:
This is a major advantage â€“ Gmail allows you to login to your account with â€œhttpsâ€. If you use https://Mail.google.com for logging into your account then your whole session is secure. In Yahoo Mail only your login is secure but not the session after you have logged into Yahoo Mail â€“ it is just plain â€œhttpâ€. You never know who could be trying to sniff your account! I always login using â€œhttpsâ€. I advise you also to follow the same.
Free POP Access:
Yahoo charges for this, Gmail gives free POP service.
Universal Use of Gmail:
Gmail is accepted everywhere for use in registration (to the best of my knowledge). Yahoo and Hotmail are likely to be banned.
Gmail no doubt is still in beta even years after launching the service but I must say that Gmail has been designed with a lot of thought gone into it. No doubt Gmail needs to come up with some updates and improvements like for example managing contacts. Otherwise Gmail beats Yahoo Mail hands down. However the one thing I am not too happy with Gmail is its initial loading speed. Itâ€™s pretty slow. Bottom line is that Yahoo Mail fails to implement a user friendly experience. The new features of Yahoo Mail pointed above are not really great advantages. Yahoo, in its quest to bring the desktop experience to the web has actually worsened its mail experience instead of improving it.
Simplicity is the key and Gmail succeeds.
Which web Mail do you use and why?