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Email makeover

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A feel of the changes sported by Yahoo Mail.

What it looks like
What it looks like

Ketaki Bhojnagarwala

Yahoo has decided to do some revamping of its most popular service, Yahoo Mail. Let's take a closer look at what Yahoo Mail Beta has to offer.

Having used Yahoo Mail for the last 10 years, I was curious to see what changes Yahoo had decided to make to it. What hits you first is the purple colour scheme that Yahoo has chosen, which is a little jarring. Although I should add that after a few weeks on the test bench, Yahoo did change the colour scheme to blue, which is a lot more pleasing to the eye.

The major revamp in Yahoo Mail Beta is most definitely the Inbox. For one, all messages in the Inbox are displayed in a single window. This means that you don't have to sift through your mails page by page. There is also a handy little preview pane that breaks the page into half. One half displays your folder (Inbox, Sent, Spam, etc) and the other displays the message you have selected. It saves you a lot of effort going back and forth between mails.

Another feature that's greatly improved is the search function. In Yahoo Mail Beta, if you search for a particular keyword, your search results are filtered by categories. So, for example, if you type in ‘EBill', you get a list of the different senders/recipients that have the keyword in the email. This is a feature that even Gmail has yet to incorporate.

Yahoo Messenger, which is incorporated into Yahoo Mail, now comes with a handy reading pane, so you can switch between conversations easily. It's still not as smooth and simple as Gtalk, though.

Social Networks have also been added to the service, so now you can connect up Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn to your email. There's even a status bar where you can update your status directly from your email account.

There's also a toolbar on top that displays all your open applications, so you can switch between them easily and close them with a single click.

Yahoo Mail Beta is definitely an improvement over Yahoo Mail Classic. We like the new look, which is professional, and has an ‘Outlook-ish' feel to it. There is some fine-tuning that can be done with the service, but that's why it's still in the Beta stage.

ketaki@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 31, 2011)
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