Yahoo launched its newly-designed Yahoo Mail app for Android and iOS devices to mark the 18th anniversary of its e-mail service today.
According to the company, the Yahoo Mai app is beautiful, fast and intuitive. It features a smarter search and contacts management as well a more secure and simplified alternative to passwords.
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In a blog post, Jeffrey Bonforte, SVP of Communication Products at Yahoo, explained that the Yahoo Mail app allows users to manage their e-mail accounts from different providers including AOL Mail, Hotmail, and Outlook.com.
Additionally, the e-mail service connects to social networks including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and users will be able to see avatars and photos from senders. They can also check breaking news by just tapping the Yahoo news icon on the top right corner of Yahoo Mail.
Yahoo Mail brings an alternative to passwords
The new Yahoo Mail app is integrated with a new form of identity authentication called the Yahoo Account Key, which allows users to access their e-mails without typing their password again.
According to Dylan Casey, Dylan Casey, vice president of product management at Yahoo said, “Passwords are difficult to remember, and secondary sign-in verification is inconvenient and confusing. “
He added, “Earlier this year we launched on-demand passwords using an SMS code. We’re now taking a major leap towards a password-free future with the launch of Yahoo Account Key, which uses push notifications to give users simple and secure access using their mobile device.”
Casey said Yahoo will eliminate passwords altogether. According to him, the Yahoo Account Key sends push notifications to user’s device to verify the user’s identity.
During a press conference, Bonforte believes that it will take some time before users get used to Yahoo Account Key. He said, “It takes getting used to. Patterns die hard. People are used to passwords, as much as they hate them.”
“A step above a password”
Symantec Security Manager Satnam Narang told Reuters thatYahoo’s approach is “a step above a password,” but he emphasized that the Yahoo Account Key falls short of the gold standard in security since the two-factor authentication requires users to confirm their identity with two different types of information.
Narang also believed that passwords will not be abolished soon. He said, “I think passwords are going to be around for a little while, I don’t think they’re going away as soon as we’d like them to. They’re so ingrained in everything we do from banking to email to shopping; you name it.”