As George Lucas found out after deciding that Greedo shot first, messing with a classic can be a delicate thing. The Yahoo! Mail team took a long, hard look at what happened to George and came up with a couple key takeaways:
- Of course Han shot first (actually only a few of us really cared about that one)
- When changing a classic it is better to do stuff people want, than to do stuff people don’t want (everyone agreed on that one).
So it is with those takeaways in mind (ok, probably just the 2nd) that the Classic team embarked on a journey to make some major changes to Yahoo! Mail Classic.
Yep, you read that correctly, Classic Mail will be going through some changes. I guess it was probably expected. After all, we did just celebrate the little fella’s 10th birthday. Isn’t that the time in your life when things really start to change?
A handful of you may have already noticed some differences in the interface (some subtle, and some not so subtle). Others may have heard the news coming all the way out of India, where it was just announced that Yahoo! Mail will be available for the first time in Hindi. Now you could be asking how those events would be connected … and I’ll tell you. The Classic team has been working diligently to fine tune the underlying technology for Classic Mail. That fine tuning is the foundation that has been critical not only in making the product available in Hindi, but also in making it easier to update features for all of Classic. In short, they are both part of the same overall project.
With all of the recent hubbub around New Mail, more than a few of you lit up the comments area on this blog asking about the future of Classic. I’m happy to say that I can now share with you some details about the future you’ve been so anxious about. In a nutshell there are features that have been added, changed, and removed. We’ve been keeping an eye on what functionality users have been requesting, as well as stuff that people just weren’t really using much (or in many cases at all). The changes span many areas, and we feel like you will be happy with the results. Some of the highlights that you will be seeing in the coming months include:
- Auto-save to Draft – Yahoo! Mail Classic now automatically saves a copy of the message you’re working on in your Drafts folder in case you lose your internet connection or your computer malfunctions.
- Simpler uploading and downloading attachments – In most cases, downloading now requires just one click!
- One-Click Flagging – The new Flag column (just one column to the right of the check-boxes) makes it super easy to flag messages.
- Folder Renaming – Rename and delete your personal folders directly within the folder view.
- More Intuitive Names – References to “Address Book” have been changed to “Contacts”, and your “Bulk” folder will instead be called “Spam” (since that’s what it is).
All in all there a lot of changes, so you should take a look at the “What’s different…” page to see everything.
***UPDATE: Some comments I’m getting suggest people think we are forcing people to change to the New Mail (formerly known as “Beta”) but this actually about giving those people who prefer Classic some of the features and changes that have been requested. ***
If you are here reading this there is a fairly high probability that you already use Yahoo! Mail, or at the very least have used it at some point (and I suspect will return again). If you are just about to start using Yahoo! Mail, that’s delightful news, but this post isn’t really for you. Hopefully we can still be friends.
Anyway, after posting about the 10th anniversary of Yahoo! Mail a few weeks back I was overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and the recounting of the many years that a lot of you have been using the service.
What I’m looking for today is for some of you guys to think back over that time and see if there are any warm and fuzzy types of events that jump out. I’ve heard from one user that after coming to the U.S. more than 15 years ago she was able to reconnect with her long lost mother because a friend of her mom’s happened across a yahoo.com email address with a name that rang a bell.
Maybe you met your spouse years ago at a nearby watering hole, and rather than giving out your phone number (way too personal) you thought that your Yahoo! email address would be a good way to stay in touch. If that happens to be the case I’d also like to know if you would do the same thing now, because I think that I would be more likely to give out my mobile number to a stranger, than my primary email address (how times have changed ).
So let me hear it. You can post your story in the comments section, but you can also send them to me directly at ymailblog1[at]yahoo.com.
NOTE: Thanks to a comment from Lee Fuller, I’ve amended this post to account for the different versions of Yahoo Mail…
There’s lots of reasons to get a second email address. You’ve got a special project going that needs a special address. You want all those emails about online purchases going to one place. You want to keep one for friends and family and one for everyone else. Or, you could be like me and just like the extra flexibility it gives you.
For the all-new Yahoo! Mail:
It’s a piece of cake to get set up. Just click Options, then select Mail Options. Go to the list on the left then click Accounts. You’ll find the bottom half of the page is cunningly called “Extra Mail Address”. Just click Get Started and follow the instructions. Couldn’t be simpler.
For the classic version of Yahoo! Mail:
It’s still a piece of cake to get set up. Just click Options, then select Mail (if it’s not already selected). Go to the list on the right then click Mail Addresses. You’ll be able to add, edit and delete the extra addresses from there. Just like above, it couldn’t be simpler.
Andrew – Yahoo! Mail Team
By now I’m sure most of you have seen the “All Feeds” link over in the left side of the New Yahoo! Mail (it was there in the Beta too), but judging from the fluctuations in the subscriber numbers of this very blog I’m guessing that many of you are not yet using it (or at the very least you aren’t it using for this blog).
Just as a little background, RSS, which is short for “Really Simple Syndication” (some people prefer to call it “Rich Site Summary”), lets you subscribe to RSS feeds from web sites that provide frequently-changing content, such as news, weather, sports, and stock reports. When you subscribe to an RSS feed, updates are “fetched” automatically. Many of you may already use this on your My Yahoo page, but you can also get them straight into Yahoo! Mail.
Even better you can click on feed name and a new tab will open in Mail just for that feed. If there are new items in a given feed the RSS symbol will display as orange , and if there is nothing new to check out it shows as grey .
If you have already added RSS feeds to My Yahoo, those should automatically appear in your “All Feeds” area in Mail, but if you want to add more it is very easy. Let’s try it out by adding the this blog to your feeds, shall we? Click “Add” and a big “Add Content” box will open. Now for any other feed you would have to do a search in the box, but if you look just below the box you will see an option to “Add the Yahoo Mail Beta Blog” (just ignore that it says Beta … I’m getting that fixed).
That’s all there is to it. Now the feed will appear in your Mail and also be added the next time you check back at My Yahoo (ahhh … bask in the “synergy“).
Now if explanation isn’t quite clear enough there is also a great set of Tutorials that our Help team has provided. Take a look at the tutorial to get the step by step details on:
- Overview of RSS
- Adding and Removing RSS Feeds
- Saving RSS Articles
- Forwarding RSS Articles
- Changing the Text Size and Font
There you have it. Be sure to subscribe to this feed so you can always know where to find the blog and when new stuff is available.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m still relatively new at Yahoo! So when I came into work on Monday and saw a special Yahoo! Oktoberfest 2007 glass … I thought it seemed kinda cool and didn’t really give it much more thought.
Then we had our all-hands meeting on Wednesday afternoon (you can get an idea of where Jerry and the other execs see us headed over on Yodel) and I found out that Yahoo! takes Oktoberfest pretty seriously. For more than 10 years now Yahoos have been treated to some good ol’ German inspired delicacie and some Munich style tunes.
Above you will see some of the delicious Apple Sausage (sliced into easily snackable sizes) and to the left you can see the leader of our German style Oktoberfest.
Even though the party didn’t really start until about 5PM, Yahoos happily stayed into the evening. I even spotted some folks from the Mail team returning to their desks with some new-found energy.
Next year I will know to wear my lederhosen.
The new feature getting the most attention so far is probably the SMS/Text feature, but for you Power Users out there, I think the biggest and baddest of the new bells and whistles will likely be the New Advanced Search. As more and more people take advantage of the unlimited storage (translation: abandon “delete” command), there is an increasing challenge to find that specific message.
Previously users would be able to view results containing a specific word, but now users have the option to easily filter search results by a wiiiide variety of message criteria. How about by sender? Or maybe by folder, date, or message status? It’s up to you.
Which of course brings us to another recent addition to the tutorials library: Searching for Messages. Take a look at the tutorial to get the step by step details on:
Tutorials can always be found by visiting the Help menu in the New Mail, or by clicking the Tutorials link located in the top-right corner of Yahoo! Mail Classic.
As I’ve said before … our Tutorials team wants these to be as easy and helpful as possible, so after checking them out please be sure to answer the “Was this helpful?” and provide any feedback you can!
There’s nothing more annoying than losing an email. We do have a very powerful search engine in Yahoo! Mail but sometimes the phrase you’re searching on is so vague and general that you end up trawling through masses of messages, even after you’ve filtered your inbox with a search.
Our engineers have delivered a great solution to this. Now, when I type a term (“golf” in the example below), not only do I get the mass of messages matching that term in the inbox view but I also see a breakdown of all matching emails categorised by sender, folder, date, attachment type and message status.
So now, if I’m looking for the photos my dad sent me from our last game of golf, I just type search for “golf”, then hop to the category box and look up emails from my dad as the sender. Or, I could choose only photo attachment types. Either way, I find what I’m looking for, double quick.
Happy email finding
Jon, Yahoo! Mail Team
OK – this is the second post for this feature (read the first one if you want). OK, it was there in the beta but we’ve beefed it up with a couple of key additions… best of which, you can now chat to people on Windows Live™ Messenger too.
What’s all this then?
We’ve integrated Yahoo! Messenger into New Yahoo! Mail. That means you can now have a live conversation with someone right from within your Yahoo! Mail mailbox. You can talk this way with anyone who has a Yahoo! or Windows Live™ Messenger ID. That’s almost everyone isn’t it?
When you log into your mailbox you’ll see, at the top of the window, a status message and a drop down arrow. When you click that icon, here’s what you’re going to see…
Once you set yourself Available, your contact list will show all of your contacts that have set themselves Available too. From here, you can select anyone on that list and start a conversation with them right from the comfort of your own Mailbox window. Here’s what it’s going to look like when you’re engrossed in a conversation with one of your friends:
Or, like this, or this…
We’ve added a couple of other new ways to start a chat. Yahoo! Mail is more than just email these days, so if you click on the arrow next to the New button (top left) you can choose “Chat” to open a chat window and go from there. Or, if you want to be really flash, you can use the keyboard shortcut. Just hit “c” and you’re off.
Not up for a chat?
As always, you can always turn this feature off too. I’ve posted about how to do that.
Andrew – Yahoo! Mail Beta Team
The standard Yahoo! Mail interface was grey (sorry, chrome) – smart, slick and professional. But it’s Autumn now and it’s grey enough outside so we thought: let’s have a bit of colour!
Now you can choose from one of six colours for your inbox. It’s one of the things people have been asking for ever since we launched new Yahoo! Mail Beta and we’re really pleased with the results. Hope you are too.
Here’s how to splash about some colour:
- Click on the Options menu (top right, next to Help)
- Roll over the Colours selection
- Make your choice
- Try out the other five (optional)
Andrew – Yahoo! Mail Team
Halloween is still a few weeks away, but if you are looking for costume ideas I may be able to help (and maybe even help you fatten up that wallet in the process).
The Yahoo! Mail folks are teaming with our friends over at Bix (be sure to check out their new blog) to put together a special costume contest. The special theme for this contest? The mack-daddy of Yahoo! Mail himself … Liam. The prize for this contest? $3,000 (1st), $1,250 (2nd), and $750 (3rd)!
You should check out the Official Rules for complete details, but the basics are:
- Dress up as one of 8 Liams -
- Submit a photo of yourself (in costume, please ) to the Bix contest.
- Tell all your friends to get out there and VOTE by 11/14/07!