Yahoo! Mail Launches Android Go App And A Redesigned Mobile Web Experience

Yahoo! was the titan of the web. Its days are over, but it's still a giant nonetheless.

While Yahoo! has been acquired by Verizon, its still counting on growth in some of its popular products, specifically Yahoo! Mail.

Here, the company releases two versions of email service: first is the one that is optimized for the mobile web, and the second is optimized for Android Go, a version of Android dedicated for cheaper handsets.

The announcement came from Oath, which is a subsidiary of Verizon, and the umbrella company for digital content subdivisions, which also include AOL and Yahoo!.

The Yahoo! Mail's Android Go app has the same feature as the original Android app, but keeping the RAM usage on devices to below 50MB and install size below 10MB. This way, the app should be easily compatible with lower-end smartphones with Android Go that are typically available in markets where people need inexpensive phones that can operate on low-bandwidth or spotty networks.

"The original Yahoo Mail app is already extremely lightweight so we didn't have to remove major features to reduce the standard Yahoo Mail app size for Go," the company said in a statement. "The Go app uses the exact same architecture as the standard Yahoo Mail app."

In addition to the lightweight app, Yahoo! Mail also experiences a redesign for users on the mobile web.

"The architecture supporting the new browser experience is the same as our modern desktop tech stack which is developed on 'React' and 'Redux'," the company said.

Notably, the mobile version version has no reloads which makes all actions such as deleting emails, marking them as read or as spam, emptying trash, an instant. This is possible as the enhanced version is written in JavaScript and built using Node.js and also uses AJAX. The basic version of Yahoo! mobile web is written in PHP and built using Apache, with forms to submit all users' actions.

This update allows it to have a more interactive app-like experience. The basic version has limited interactivity.

The mobile site also adds swipe to delete and mark as read, a pop-out sidebar for folders, color themes and email-address suggestions. It also adds support for Android's ability to add browser shortcuts to users' home screen.

Yahoo! Mail - Android Go

The launch comes when Yahoo! Mail experienced a stagnant growth.

The company said that Yahoo! Mail has 227.8 million monthly active users (MAUs), with about 26 billion emails sent daily. While that number is huge, Yahoo! Mail only adds 2 million more than it had in 2017. And speaking of numbers, Yahoo! Mail is shy if compared to Google's Gmail, which boasts about 1.4 billion MAUs in April 2018.

In other words, Yahoo! Mail wants to again appeal users that may have left, or may have been inactive. Here it wants to target those casual users, mostly in emerging markets.

And given that Yahoo! Mail is already available in 46 languages and 70 markets, it’s probably overdue that Yahoo! has decided to redesign some features specifically for those markets.

"We’ve heard loud and clear from users that they’re not always ready to make the big leap to downloading an app that takes up any storage space on their phone," said Joshua Jacobson, director of product management for Yahoo! Mail.

"People with high-capacity phones may want to save that space for photos or videos, while others with entry-level smartphones may just have limited space from the get-go. Further, some folks share devices or borrow a family member’s to access their email. This is all especially true in developing markets."

With this strategy, Yahoo! in joining Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and some others that have developed their own versions of apps and platforms dedicated for emerging markets.