Yahoo Mail gets iPad-friendly Web app
iPad users looking to get a more native Yahoo Mail experience now have an escape hatch from the iPad's native e-mail client in the form of an iPad-optimized Web app that looks and feels like a native app.
Yahoo has rejiggered its Web e-mail service to better fit within the confines of the iPad's plus-size Web browser.
Users who visit Yahoo's Web mail service from their iPad will now get a version of the site that's been designed to fit in with the iPad's user interface aesthetic. This includes portrait and landscape support and scrolling up and down one's message list and messages themselves with acceleration.
As far as extra bells and whistles over the native iPad e-mail client, there aren't many. You cannot, for instance, attach a signature, photo, or video to an outgoing message like you can with the native e-mail app. Nor can you get as much information from headers.
The one area where the Web app is able to markedly improve over the native client though, is how it handles incoming media. If a contact has sent you a handful of photos, the new Web client lets you swipe through them like you'd do within the iPad's Photos application. The Web app also includes a better search tool that lets you search not only the text within messages but for images and attachments too.
Alongside these features, Yahoo says that the app uses local caching to store messages within the browser's memory so that you can do searches and read without being connected to the Web.
Yahoo has held a special place as one of the few built-in e-mail clients on the iPhone (and now iOS) since the unveiling of the device back in 2007. It also remains the only included consumer Web mail service to give users push e-mail. Unlike some of the other offerings, this will deliver new e-mails to your device as soon as they've been sent, instead of your phone having to fetch them at various intervals.
Things I'd love to see in the next version include ties to other Yahoo services, such as Flickr, Delicious, and the company's IM chat service so users could share from, or access them within the same interface as they can in the full version of the service. Yahoo already has native apps for two of these on the iPhone (Flickr and Messenger), though not on the iPad.
The new interface can be found by pointing your iPad to mail.yahoo.com. Yahoo is also offering an escape hatch for users to load up the regular-size version of the company's Web mail. If you're on a desktop browser and want to give it a spin, you can use that worked when Google offered up its two-pane Gmail experience for the iPad in April.