New Yahoo! Mail Goes Beta Tomorrow

Finally going to be in limited beta release.

Yahoo Mail Beta

Ok, first disclaimer. I work for Yahoo. And Darren James, fellow Rico-man & former teammate at Sabre now works for the Y!Mail team. But, before joining he & I were avid gmail lovers. I got in very early in the gmail beta program and evangelized it to all my friends (and enemies ;-).

When I knew I was joining Yahoo, I was concerned that I would have to leave my gmail aside. Of course there is no one at Y! telling me I had to leave it. But it felt wrong to be using the competitor's product and liking it better.

Now, I knew some of the oddpost guys so I was pretty confident that it would be awesome. But would it be better than gmail? On the first day I got hooked into the new Yahoo! Mail.

I was relieved. I actually liked it better than gmail! Not that there aren't a couple of features that gmail has that I still like better. But, seriously the new Yahoo! Mail is better than gmail. I know sounds biased. But really its great.

The first version I got to use was a lot like the original oddpost mail in that it appeared in a separate window with no "browser chrome". Looked like a desktop app. Its own menus, etc. Shortly after joining, they made a decision to move it back into the chrome. Reasons included in the chrome is friendlier to tabbed browsers and popup blockers. I was nervous. Would this screw it up?

But no, due to the excellent product management & design (kudos to Greg Rosenberg!) decisions the in the chrome design is actually better.

Want to read & see some screenshots. Read Ryan Kennedy's blog about it (he works on the Yahoo! Mail web service underlying the new mail client).

Favorite features:

  • Powerful, fast search with snippet view
  • Tabbed search, compose windows for easy window management
  • Fast auto-complete
  • Drag and drop email into address book and it adds users to address book
  • Endless scrolling (same concept as LiveGrid)
  • Nice attachment interface
  • Subject randomizer (can't think of a topic... let it pick one :-)
Watch for the expanding beta and give it a whirl. I think you will agree that it is the best web mail client available.

Update: Sign up for Beta program at: http://whatsnew.mail.yahoo.com

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Sr. Director, UI Engineering, PayPal. Former Netflixer, Y! Pattern Curator. UX & Engineering Leader, Author, Speaker. Early Mac game developer (1985)

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