Yahoo's young Yahoo Mail app is looking to get a bump in user numbers after adding support for Gmail.
That changed on Thursday with an update to the Android and iOS versions of the app. The update adds IMAP support for Gmail in Yahoo Mail, allowing users to manage Google's web mail service alongside already-supported Yahoo, Outlook, Hotmail and AOL Mail.
With this update, Yahoo Mail joins dozens of other email apps that already support Gmail, including Google's own Gmail app, Inbox by Gmail, Outlook from Microsoft, Cloud Magic and so on.
Despite the lack of support for Gmail, Yahoo Mail has nonetheless proved popular among Android users.
According to Google Play statistics, Yahoo Mail has gained between 100 million and 500 million installs, which is far more than Microsoft's Outlook app or Inbox for Android, which both currently have between 10 million and 50 million installs. Gmail has at least one billion installs.
Yahoo boasting its app will allow you to, "Search across your entire history of emails, from day one, for all connected mailboxes" and "Not just your most recent emails, which is how it's done in many apps today."
It's also put the Xobni email analytics startup it acquired in 2013 to work in the Mail app as its intelligent contact manager, which presents contact information in summary cards.
There are a few differences in the way the Yahoo Mail app handles swipe actions for Gmail compared with other web mail accounts. For example, when managing Outlook and Yahoo email from the app, a left swipe will delete the email. For Gmail, the same action moves it to archive, which can be retrieved from the "All Mail" folder available in Gmail. That action is common across the iOS and Android apps.
Unrelated to its additional support for Gmail, Yahoo has also added split view support for iOS 9 on the iPad and introduced a new slide over action.
"If your iPad has iOS 9 installed, you can now open Yahoo Mail in a small sidebar by sliding it over from the right side of the screen. This is handy when you want to just quickly check for new messages or reference one particular message without leaving the app you're already using. And for the recent iPads (iPad Pro, iPad Mini 4, iPad Air 2), you'll be able to use Yahoo Mail side-by-side with other apps at the same time," it notes.
Yahoo Mail users on iOS also should see a noticeable speed improvement in the app's response to opening push notifications.
For Android, Yahoo has implemented a few design changes to make email more readable than its previous version by darkening text in message and conversion lists.
Also, it's collapsed settings to a single page, aiming for simpler navigation, and made it easier to see where to sign out. Other improvements include larger touch targets for the sidebar and back buttons, and introduced "patches to reduce data usage on mobile networks".
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