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New Tablet Mail, Weather Apps Continue Yahoo’s Push For Mobile Relevance
This morning, Yahoo introduced its improved Mail app for Apple and Android tablets and a new weather app for the iPhone. The Mail app is a larger, tablet-optimized version of the Mail app that was introduced for the iPhone in December.
Yahoo’s new mail apps put Yahoo Mail’s quality and functionality on par with Google’s mail apps and will help increase mobile usage and retain Yahoo Mail users. The weather app, however, is not just “workmanlike” but offers a visually rich environment and should grow usage on the iPhone.
The Android version of Yahoo Weather is similarly immersive, but not as nicely done. It will probably be updated to bring it more closely into alignment with the new iOS version.
Images from Flickr of the desired weather locations fill the screen and do create a “beautiful” experience. This visual appeal makes it very appealing vs. other more basic weather apps. The image at right is one from the new Weather app for the iPhone.
Weather is one of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s “daily habits.” And the design appears to represent something of a new direction for the company’s app development. I was immediately reminded of Facebook Home, with its full-screen images. I previously suggested that Yahoo could emulate Home as a “launcher” strategy for Android.
If Yahoo continues down the path that Weather has taken and invests in beautiful design and UIs, it will claw its way back to mobile relevance.
Yahoo provides weather information to Siri on the iPhone. It will be interesting to see whether some version of this app-experience makes its way there, as well.
On the recent Yahoo earnings call Mayer said that the company had grown its mobile audience by about a 100 million users in Q1 and was now at 300 million globally.