I’ve had a Yahoo email address for years. I use it whenever I buy something online. Recently, I’ve been reading about the company’s beta release of its new Yahoo! Mail product. The more I hear, the more patience I lose with the existing model. Come on Yahoo, help a brother out.
Here’s what Khoi Vinh of Subtraction is saying:
For security reasons, POP3 traffic is restricted to me during the workday now, so now I have to rely on Web-based email clients, a genre of net software for which I’ve never managed to drum up very much enthusiasm. Managing my email box over the Web is a bit like providing technical support to my mother over the phone; it’s halting and inelegant at best, and frustrating and time-consuming at worst. No matter how many gigabytes of free storage and no matter how much Ajax-goodness is conscripted into the service of the user interface, Web-based mail clients can’t hold a candle to the experience of a desktop email client — even one as convoluted and inscrutable as Microsoft Outlook. And that’s saying a lot.
However, the beta release of Yahoo Mail comes close. To amend my unfortunate workday exile from POP3, I started to use this stunning online email client last week, thanks to a scarce beta invitation rounded up for me by my friend Richard. Having been in a private beta testing phase since last fall, it’s by now the consensus that this version of Yahoo Mail will be, once it’s released, the best Web client available — I happen to agree.
You’ve probably heard that the new Yahoo Mail goes to extraordinary lengths to approximate the interaction behaviors of a desktop email client. It’s something altogether more amazing, though, when you see it and use it for yourself: messages can be dragged and dropped into folders, email addresses are auto-completed as you compose new messages, and right-clicking produces true and useful contextual menus. It’s a uniformly well-executed experience that’s far and away superior to the whiz-bang eyesore of its most obvious rival, Google’s Gmail. This is due in no small part to the fact that the new Yahoo Mail is hugely more beautiful than all of its competition; its aesthetic is first-rate and realized with aplomb. Fit and finish counts.