New Yahoo! Mail Service
December 30, 2005 12:37 PM   Subscribe

The new Yahoo! Mail service, which features a "new interface more like that of a desktop e-mail application...[plus] e-mail caching; message preview; drag-and-drop filing, an integrated RSS feeder, and the ability to view multiple e-mails at the same time in separate windows and scroll through all message headers in a folder rather than one page at a time," is getting some pretty good buzz (Leo really raved about it on TWiT last week). It's only out to a select few though -- any MeFites been privy?
posted by JPowers (29 comments total)
I like it.
posted by mert at 12:40 PM on December 30, 2005

Dunno, but it someone were to send me an invite, I would possibly send them savory meats.

I like my webmail app to be pretty light, though. If this ends up similar to Google Maps/Yahoo Maps(beta) I'll probably stay where I am.
posted by selfnoise at 12:42 PM on December 30, 2005

POP is good. IMAP is good. All my mail on a server with access only if I view ads isn't good.

You want great email? Get your own domain. Now you have unlimited addresses. Get that domain hosted. Now you have a web-mail interface and POP or IMAP. Now get Thunderbird: drag and drop, multiple windows (if you want) message preview. Customize Thunderbird to your heart's content. (but why do I want RSS for my email? I Check it every five minutes, and just download it.)

That's email.
posted by orthogonality at 12:43 PM on December 30, 2005

I put in to be added onto the 'cool kids' list, they sent a response saying 'don't call us, we'll call you' and gave me a secret decoder ring, other than that nuthin'
posted by mk1gti at 12:48 PM on December 30, 2005

A two week old link that's basically a couple of paragraphs?

They bought oddpost, just like delicious, flickr, etc. etc. I'd rather use gmail, even over using my own domain.
posted by justgary at 12:54 PM on December 30, 2005

I second ortho. Thunderbird is awesome, and I feel much more secure with my own box than being lent space on someone else's in exchange for $. Still, I'll try it when it's out of beta.
posted by moonbird at 1:01 PM on December 30, 2005

Well security's one thing, but many would argue that the expense and effort (and technical know-how, which the general public does not necessarily have) of setting up your own box/domain translates into the cost of adspace.

Regardless, I'm glad to see an alternative to gmail and hotmail - even if it's not as secure as mail run under your own domain, more choice is just fine.
posted by Tikirific at 1:10 PM on December 30, 2005

A lot of it is drawn from Oddpost, which really did a kickass job on the UI. It's definately Outlook to oyther service's pine, but honestly, that harnesses a LOT of power for the end user.

It's quite adept and handles large folders well in my experience. If you're a fan of keyboard nav and things like drag/drop, it (will be) is for you.
posted by kcm at 1:13 PM on December 30, 2005

I prefer desktop email for "real" correspondence. But Yahoo mail is handy for an anonymous address - for site registrations, things like that.

I hope the new interface doesn't rely on ActiveX, Java or Flash - if so, and there's no plainer alternative, I'll be an ex-user immediately. I guess AJAX is OK (read: such a fad that it's pointless to fight it).

Also, some reports say it's slow.
posted by jam_pony at 1:17 PM on December 30, 2005

I didn't care for it much when I looked at it last week using Firefox on OS X 10.4.

While it's true that it has an Outlook-y look-n-feel, it also had some serious responsiveness issues that made it kind of frustrating.

I'll continue doing what I'm doing, which is using at home and on my own laptop, and checking in on my hosted provider's SquirrelMail installation when I'm not on one of my own computers.

Other side of the coin: My wife is a diehard Yahoo! mail user (she's a "Plus" subscriber) who won't touch a client-side e-mail client and hated SquirrelMail. She thinks the new version via IE 6 on a Windows machine is the cat's pajamas.
posted by mph at 1:22 PM on December 30, 2005

I've been using the new email for a few months now (sorry, it's not an invitation system, or I'd happily send a few invites!), and I've been very impressed.

I've always preferred to use web-based mail, and the new Yahoo mail is the best of both worlds.

It is still glitchy. I've been getting fewer loading errors lately, so obviously they're working on it.

The RSS reader is no great shakes, and it's tied in to other Yahoo services in unfortunate ways (if you use My Yahoo, those feeds are connected. Delete a feed one place, you lose it in the other), but Yahoo has a pretty solid history of innovation, so we'll see.

As for speed, I hate waiting for it to load initially--but it's not much slower than desktop mail is to initialize, and once it's loaded up, it's plenty speedy. This is with broadband, XP/Firefox.
posted by frykitty at 1:26 PM on December 30, 2005

There's a bunch of Yahoo Mail Beta pictures on Flickr.
posted by bobo123 at 1:30 PM on December 30, 2005

i've been using it for a couple of weeks. it's slower than the old web interface. the search function is a step backwards. i like the rss feeds from my yahoo. but i'm not sure if the new mail interface is an improvement or not. it mainly looks like an attempt to make web mail that looks like a pop or imap client.

i have my owns domains. but my yahoo address is almost ten years old.

i prefer pop. when it works. most clients are buggy enough to require me to login via telnet and clean out some garbage headers manually from time to time.

but i can get to yahoo from darn near anywhere.

six of one. half dozen the other.
posted by 3.2.3 at 1:44 PM on December 30, 2005

I have it - it's like Outlook Lite, in short. Apparently, it's some good technical work. I'm not really sure why RSS feeds in a mail application is preferable to My Yahoo, but that's there, too. However, I still prefer GMail and its threaded conversations, though. If only they'd let me delete messages instead of making it tough with a drop down box. Those goddamn data mining Google monkeys.
posted by sachinag at 2:07 PM on December 30, 2005

I have it, and find that I still like gmail better. Faster, cleaner, more modern looking.
posted by kdern at 2:30 PM on December 30, 2005

XP only is a deal breaker for me, as I use quite a few Win98 machines in my travels throughout the hinterlands (which is usually when I need web-based email solutions anyway).
posted by First Post at 2:35 PM on December 30, 2005

I've been using it for about a month. As sachinag noted, it is Outlook Express for the web. Technically impressive and a huge improvement over their old system, though it is a little sluggish booting and it has a huge memory footprint (getting messages once it is loaded is very fast). Anyway, I prefer gmail.

First Post, it also works on Win2K, but I don't know about 98 or Me.
posted by huzzahhuzzah at 3:08 PM on December 30, 2005

But where do the ads go?
posted by blue_beetle at 3:55 PM on December 30, 2005

sachinag: If you use Firefox, there's the Gmail Delete Button extension.
posted by AstroGuy at 4:30 PM on December 30, 2005

I have been using FireFox (formerly an Outlook user), but since I've switched to GMail, I find that I fire up the web interface much more. Since I have access to Sent items as well, I find less and less of a need to open FireFox. GMail is often faster at finding an old message I need, and now that I have a Delete Button, I'm set! Thanks AstroGuy. To the matter at hand, it seems that email is one of those things that really should be a web app. As we all start using more and more computers in our daily lives...I know someone who has a refrigerator only makes sense to not be tied to a particular cpu for something as basic as email. Thank God google upped the stakes with such a responsive interface. AJAX rules...
posted by jakeaust at 5:45 PM on December 30, 2005

Been hosting my own mail for over 5 years myself. This is what happens when my "Learn DNS by doing" project spirals out of control.

Love it, and wouldn't change it. Even though it's been rather expensive a hobby.
posted by Samizdata at 5:47 PM on December 30, 2005

I use Outlook (not Express) with Gmail on my home PC, and I use the web interface everywhere else. Using POP, there's no ads at all, and with a couple of filters, I even get mail I send from the web interface directly routed to the "Sent Items" folder in Outlook. Best of both worlds. At work we use Outlook with Exchange Server and I can connect remotely via a web-based version of Outlook to read my work mail (and calendar, etc.) Unfortunately, that uses ActiveX so I need to use IE for full functionality, but it still "sort of" works with Firefox.
posted by AstroGuy at 6:28 PM on December 30, 2005

If you like Squirrelmail then wait until y'all get a peek at RoundCube. It's still an alpha/beta project right now, but even the CVS versions work great. I think a lot of good will come of RoundCube.

Oh, and it has the pretty "ooooh shiny" drag & drop features that Yahoo now has, among others.
posted by drstein at 6:49 PM on December 30, 2005

The RSS reader is no great shakes, and it's tied in to other Yahoo services in unfortunate ways

That's a problem with yahoo, trying to tie everything together. Look around mefi. Many people have moved to gmail. I don't think most will move back to yahoo. I'm surprised when I see someone techy uses yahoo. I'm shocked when I find anyone still using hotmail.

I'll continue doing what I'm doing, which is using at home and on my own laptop, and checking in on my hosted provider's SquirrelMail installation when I'm not on one of my own computers.

I kept waiting for squirrelmail to improve. Honestly, it's like using something from the stone age compared to something like gmail.
posted by justgary at 8:25 PM on December 30, 2005

Heh, maybe I won't dump my nearly ten year old Y! mail account just yet.

How long has it been around now? I still have an account I set up the first month they publically offered it. Back when Yahoo! still had ultra-simple, hand-edited basic catagories on the front page and no (or little) ads.
posted by loquacious at 9:13 PM on December 30, 2005

I've been using it for about 2/3 weeks now.

The Pros:

I really like it. the interface is really, really neat. They did an awsome job on it, and it's very cool how it works.


Slower than molasses. I can't stand the waits to get my mail. Particularly the initial login. They are going to have to do something to fix this before it goes mainstream.

Also, it's buggy as hell. I get errors alot more than I am used to, even with beta software. Not simple "page not found errors' either. Big programming error popups with lots of weird numbers and things... I wouldn't expect these types of errors with a company like yahoo. Yeah, I know, it's beta and all but still...

It's neat. If they can get the speed working, I would consider it over my beloved g-mail....
posted by punkrockrat at 8:50 AM on December 31, 2005

I have a regular ol' fashioned Yahoo e-mail account, but I've been trying to get away from it recently and use the account for my webspace. Yahoo has recently made copy/paste nonfunctional, which is a huge problem, and their use of quotation makes it impossible to insert my own comments into someone else's when replying. They've also never had a very good way to page through content. You have to hit "next" however many times; even Hotmail has a drop-down list to choose a specific page from.
posted by jiawen at 9:48 AM on December 31, 2005

actually, i really like Yahoo, cause it lets me do the things i want to do without trying to convince me that another way is better just cause they say so.

i have gMail too, of course, but i can't figure out how to sort by sender or date with it, and that's something i need to do a lot. also, it never seems to want to let me right click on an email and open it in a new window.

to me, removing the ability to do these standard things is kinda stupid. then again, maybe it's me, maybe they are there, and i just can't do them for some reason.
posted by TrinityB5 at 10:51 AM on January 1, 2006

Could someone offer me an explanation of why RSS is compelling...I just don't get it...
posted by ParisParamus at 2:48 PM on January 1, 2006

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