The latest Yahoo Mail iOS app update represents a clever move from CEO Marissa Mayer and company. The app now integrates with other Yahoo apps, including Yahoo News and Yahoo Weather, bringing them into your Yahoo mailbox and giving you more reasons to become reliant upon Yahoo apps. (The Yahoo Mail Android app has not received a similar update as of this writing.)
It’s a good move for Yahoo, but is it good for you? Only if you’re a die-hard Yahoo Mail user, and I’m not. My main complaint: Compared to Gmail, which I’ve been using for years, Yahoo Mail does a lousy job of filtering spam. When I launched the new Yahoo Mail app today, having not used it for several months, I found over 70 junk messages in my inbox. That might not seem like much, but I only have a Yahoo email address for testing purposes and have never shared it. Ideally, I would have zero messages in my inbox.
Now about that app integration? At the bottom of your Yahoo Mail app screen, you see icons for other Yahoo apps, such as News. Tap it, and you get a stream of the latest news headlines. The new Today icon gives you an at-a-glance view of information including sports scores, weather, and stock quotes, as well as a search box. You can view this content without exiting the app.
I like Yahoo’s recent updates to its mobile apps, and its weather and news apps are among my favorites in their categories. Also, it makes sense to aggregate multiple sources of information into an email app, as long as your email is still easy to read and manage. Yahoo Mail does a reasonably good of this, but other email apps, such as Mailbox, with its ability to “snooze” messages for reading later, offer more features — and better spam filters.
James A. Martin is a seasoned tech journalist and blogger based in San Francisco and winner of the 2014 ASBPE National Gold award for his CIO.com blog. He writes CIO.com's Living the Tech Life blog and is also a content marketing consultant.