October 20 2007

GMail vs Yahoo Mail

GMail vs Yahoo MailI’m not sure why, but Yahoo! Mail just tends to annoy me more than anything else any more.

Correction: Yahoo! in general annoys me, but I’ll be specific to the mail.

After a post I did in August, where Roy and Luis taught me, via comments, about the aspects of GMail I was missing out on, I have totally fallen in love with GMail.  It really shows the flaws of Yahoo! Mail though.

I had been using Yahoo’s email for awhile for business emails so I could access them from anywhere, especially solicitations from vendors.  What I’m finding now is that older emails tend not to load.  It’ll say they’re loading… and then nothing.  I’ll reload everything, try again, still not loading.  Sometimes it takes 3 – 4 tries to get them to finally work.

A lot of people signal the fact Yahoo! Mail offers you “unlimited” storage, but what good does that do you if you can never read them?  The interface is showing it’s archaic age, as is all of Yahoo!, and you have to wonder what happened to this once king of the Internet?

Google could very easily sit on their laurels at this point, but instead they are constantly innovating.  I do wonder sometimes if they are going to reaching a breaking point by expanding too fast, in too many directions, but for now, they seem to have a handle on things.  In the email department, once I learned how to do labels, I can’t believe how smooth the whole system runs.  I have never been unable to reach a piece of email (*knocks on wood*), and the only flaw I’ve ever run in to is my contacts list sometimes fails to load, but it usually shows up in a minute or two.

So, can Yahoo save itself?  It could, possibly, but every day they let slip by is another nail in their coffin.  GMail is becoming one of the most common used applications on the web , and Yahoo is going to have to copy some aspects of it if they hope to survive.  The first thing they need is a completely new interface, and hopefully one built on AJAX.

For those who don’t know what AJAX is, it’s a web language that allows a portion of a page to refresh without the whole page having to do it.  Take for instance when you archive something from your inbox in GMail, you notice it disappears, the inbox shifts, but the whole page doesn’t disappear to accomplish that, that’s AJAX at work.  It’s faster, less annoying to the user, and much faster since only a portion of the page reloads.

It probably comes down to a design aesthetic,  but Yahoo needs to get their head out of their behinds and get cracking.  I for one have left, and and don’t see myself going back unless there are major changes.

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