October 9, 2013
Yahoo Mail Unveils New Design, One Terabyte Free Storage And Lots Of Free Features
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Yahoo continues their march to act, feel and look like a completely new company with new features and themes for Yahoo Mail. The redesign brings a new conversation mode that groups messages together in a thread, uses some design cues from the Yahoo weather app, and places some commonly used functions in a slide-over or hover-over menu.Just as they did for Flickr users back in May, Yahoo is also giving its Mail users 1 Terabyte of storage to use with the service, as well as disposable addresses, mail forwarding and spam filters. Finally, Yahoo is adding an ad-free version of mail, aptly titled “Ad Free Mail,” an optional service which costs $50 annually.
One of the most notable changes to the new Yahoo is the mention of storage space. Previously premium Yahoo Mail customers were granted an “unlimited” amount of storage on the service, but today’s announcement puts a cap on data for all users, albeit a rather high one.
"We're moving to 1TB because 'unlimited' wasn't a feature that we discussed very much or a feature that our users were that familiar with," a Yahoo spokesperson told the LA Times. "We opted to move to 1TB instead, because we believe by having a huge limit like 1TB it will inspire our users to store more in Yahoo Mail."
According to the spokesperson, no Yahoo user has ever topped one Terabyte of storage during the unlimited data days, and if anyone does, Yahoo says it will reconsider their limit.
Mimicking their spring Flickr announcement, Yahoo is making more of their premium features available to all. In addition to one free terabyte for all uses, Yahoo is also giving customers free disposable email addresses, free filtering and free automatic message forwarding. Disposable email addresses can be used when customers don’t want to give out their primary address.
Free customers are also allowed to use up to 200 filters to sort these inboxes, including spam filters to keep unwanted advertisements and potentially malicious content off the computer. Finally, any email coming into these inboxes can also be automatically forwarded to another address, making Yahoo mail available in more places.
Yahoo offered these features and more in their premium service, Mail Plus, for $19.99 a year. Today’s announcement of the new Ad Free Mail is a 150 percent increase on this price and only adds two features to regular, free mail. Just as the name suggests, new premium users will not see ads in their inbox. Additionally, paying $49.99 a year will ensure the user’s account will not expire. Existing Mail Plus users, however, will be grandfathered in to the old rate and will be spared the price increase.
Just as it’s been seen in other Yahoo redesigns, Mail has been reformatted to look the same on desktops, smartphones and tablets. The unity across these devices also extends to Yahoo’s new themes, which borrow pictures from their Flickr photo sharing service. Users can pick a photo from Flickr to be used as a background behind their messages, and when a theme is chosen on one device, it’s automatically applied to other devices as well.