- Posted December 11th, 2012 at 6:00 am by HuongT
- Categories: All-New Mail, General, Mac, Mobile, New Stuff, Speed
By Vivek Sharma, GM, Yahoo! Mail & Messenger
The underlying premise of email is pretty simple. You read and send messages. It helps you stay connected with family, friends and people that matter to you.
Yet, somewhere along the way, email got a little complex. The number of features started to multiply and in many cases, they didn’t actually make you more productive.
Today, we’re taking a step towards bringing email back to its roots.
When it comes to email, you’ve told us you want three main things.
- You want it to be fast (We understand. We are busy too!)
- You want it to be easy. (Molecular physics is hard. Email shouldn’t be.)
- You want it to be available anywhere you are. (Places to go, people to see. Can email come too?)
Yahoo! Mail has been redesigned with all this in mind and today we’re rolling out four products – an upgraded Web mail experience, new apps for iPhone/iPod touch and Windows 8, and an upgraded app for Android.
Our new, native apps have been built for speed. You can easily scan your inbox and quickly triage – starring important messages that need follow-up, filing messages to folders and deleting unimportant ones – all from the inbox. With infinite scroll, you can quickly find emails from last month or even, last year.
We’ve also reduced steps to save you time. When you log into Yahoo! Mail on the Web, it’ll take you directly to your inbox. We’ve tweaked the underlying performance so it’s faster to compose and read messages. After you send a message, we now take you right back to the inbox. Collectively, that works out to 36 million minutes saved every day.
Improved mail search also helps you get things done faster. On the apps, you can search across your entire inbox. Web mail now has search auto-complete so you can quickly find the messages and people you’re looking for.
We’ve redesigned Yahoo! Mail so it’s easy for you to use. No frills. On Web mail, we’ve simplified and reduced the number of buttons – so you only see the ones you need.
Photos and attachments now appear at the top of your message. On iPhone and Android, you can easily attach photos directly from your camera roll, or take and send a photo from within Yahoo! Mail. There’s even a simple way to re-size photos, which is important if you’re keeping an eye on your data usage.
For Yahoo! Mail users on a Windows 8 device, we’ve created a familiar app that takes advantage of key Windows 8 features. Live Tiles show new messages arriving right from the Windows 8 Start screen. You can also use Yahoo! Mail in Snapped View or Fill View, keeping two apps open simultaneously to increase your productivity.
Increasingly, we’re all on the go and email is one of the key ways we stay connected. No matter what platform you’re on, you’ll have a consistent Yahoo! Mail experience. For big screens, the experience is optimized for composing messages and managing your inbox. For small screens, we have focused on providing an experience that lets you easily monitor and triage.
We’re committed to bringing email back to its essence. This is just the beginning and we hope you love it. Please continue to help us improve Yahoo! Mail by giving us your feedback.
The Yahoo! Mail engineering team is on a mission to make your email as fast and responsive as possible. It’s not an easy task. But one of the ways we improve performance is by taking advantage of the pauses in your activity on Yahoo! Mail to prepare for your next moves. Let me explain what I mean.
Every time you view your inbox, read a message, click on a news headline, or check your social updates, you are making our application on the browser work hard. But there are times when you give it a break, like when you read a lengthy message or news story. However short, these moments when the browser is “idle” are very important because they give us an opportunity to replenish the application with new data and functionality that you may use in the future. Let’s say you receive an email from a friend you haven’t talked to in years. As you are reading though the message, Yahoo! Mail is already downloading all the components needed for your reply, such as spell check or color options. All this work in the background lets you easily add features and personality to your message.
During other idle times, Yahoo! Mail fetches new messages from our servers and drops them into your inbox. Instead of blindly downloading your entire inbox like some other email providers do, we anticipate the messages that you will read. For example, emails from people in your contact list have preference over messages that were forwarded to you. Similarly, a reply to your message is given preference over a new email from someone you don’t know. We also fetch emails around the message you are currently reading so that when you move to next message, you don’t have to wait for that message to download from the server.
Even though the idle time slice is very brief, we optimize the application to make use of that every bit of downtime gives maximum benefit to the user. Once the modules or emails are fetched, we keep them running in your session so that your browser never downloads the same thing more than once. That saves Internet bandwidth and speeds up your Yahoo! Mail.
Making the most out of idle time is just one of the many exciting projects our engineering teams are working on to make Yahoo! Mail better. So take your time reading your friend’s long email. We’ll be busy at work.
If it is the technology behind this that interests you, please read about it on the YDN blog post titled “YUI3 AsyncQueue + Cache Warmer = better Yahoo! Mail performance”