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Yahoo Impresses with Creative Mobile Weather, Mail

Yahoo Impresses with Creative Mobile Weather, Mail
By Jennifer LeClaire

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"The new weather and mail apps are all part of a larger push by CEO Marissa Mayer to make Yahoo relevant and competitive in mobile," said analyst Greg Sterling. "The mail app for iPad is a larger version of the improved mail app released late last year by Yahoo. The weather app is nicely done and should see downloads and substantial usage."
 


Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is continuing to push forward with her strategy to revive the ailing search engine brand in an increasingly mobile world. Yahoo just rolled out new Weather and Mail apps for both iOS and Android.

With the weather app, Yahoo is getting creative by bringing in images from its Flickr property to show current local conditions. The idea: the app isn't just giving you weather stats -- it's showing you the weather. On the Mail app front, Yahoo is promising what it calls an "unbox" experience.

Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence, told us the more Yahoo can improve its mobile apps and experiences, the more that will help Yahoo and the Yahoo brand overall.

"The new weather and mail apps are all part of a larger push by CEO Marissa Mayer to make Yahoo relevant and competitive in mobile," Sterling said. "The mail app for iPad is a larger version of the improved mail app released late last year by Yahoo. The weather app is nicely done and should see downloads and substantial usage."

Driving User-Generated Content

Marco Wirasinghe, director of Mobile and Emerging Products at Yahoo, said checking the weather is routine, but it doesn't have to be routine. He sees checking the weather as a moment of anticipation or the memory of a great place they've traveled to or even a conversation with a stranger.

"Inside you'll find stunning snapshots of weather around the world. With a tilt of your phone, get lost scrolling through photos reflecting the current weather in places that matter to you," he wrote in a blog post. "We like to think of it as flipping through a stack of postcards from your travels. It's easy to get the details. Tap the temperature for a quick view of the forecast or scroll down for precipitation, wind and pressure, a radar map, and more."

Yahoo's stated goal is to offer "amazing photos" for every weather condition that cover the globe -- morning, noon and night. To that end, Yahoo is asking for people to upload images to Flickr, an interesting way to drive user-generated content and engagement with the brand.

Magazine-Style E-mail

Yahoo Mail for Tablets aims to offer a new perspective on e-mail: a full-screen experience that "gets rid of the noise," Yahoo said. With Yahoo Mail, there are no folders, no buttons and no tabs. Just e-mail that you flip through magazine-style.

"We've designed Yahoo! Mail to take full advantage of the tablet, making reading your e-mail faster, easier and just a little bit more fun," said Lee Parry, senior director of Mobile and Emerging Products at Yahoo.

"We're also helping you clean up your inbox, so you can get to the e-mail that matters most. With our new Mail apps, you can quickly select your messages, automatically group by sender, and with a swipe -- delete, star, or move them all. We figured you probably didn't need those expired coupons anyway."
 

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