Yahoo Launches Redesign Of Search, Mail, Messenger


"The evolution you see today reflects our focus on enabling people to connect with what matters to them most," said Ari Balogh, Yahoo executive vice president of products and CTO, in a statement. The company's reinvigorated focus on creating a more streamlined and efficient interface was kicked off with its recent Yahoo home page relaunch, and is subsequently being extended to Mail, Messenger and Search, Balogh said.

One of the biggest improvements to Yahoo Search includes the addition of Search Assist -- the site's realtime query suggestion engine -- to the search box on every Yahoo page in the U.S. That enhancement is coupled with a new universal header that incorporates design and navigation elements with links to Yahoo destinations such as MyYahoo, Finance, News, Sports, Mail and the Yahoo home page.

Other changes to Yahoo Search include more intelligent and intuitive search results, easier access to search controls such as search scan/SafeSearch and enhanced tools for refining search results.

In an attempt to ride the social networking wave, Yahoo is giving users the ability to view recent e-mails from social networking contacts and receive links to photo albums and birthday reminders. The new application box, which also will be added to both Mail and Messenger, allows Yahoo members to make updates to their social networking profiles within the Yahoo network.

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Initially, Yahoo users will only be able to receive updates from other Yahoo users; however, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company said that future rollouts will eventually be extended to everyone on the Yahoo users' contact list.

Yahoo also is implementing a more streamlined redesign of its Yahoo Mail service, complete with a new Application Box that combines Calendar, Notepad and an array of third-party apps. The company is adding a new Evite app, set to launch next month, that will allow users to send Evite invitations, check on event status and add them to their Yahoo Calendars through their inboxes. Other apps, all scheduled to be available worldwide in months to come, include Flickr, PayPal, Picnik, Xoopit and ZumoDrive.

Yahoo also is catering to mobile users by allowing them to check, compose and search e-mails with a single click, while making it easier for users to download PDF files and photos from their smartphones. The mobile enhancements will be available for more than 400 devices with HTML browsers, beginning with Safari, with other devices planned for Sept. 1.

Messenger also will receive a facelift with added video calls that enable full-screen face-to-face chats. In addition, Messenger is boosted with an improved iPhone App, as well as an enhanced language selector and a new update, Tap, that allows users to discover Twitter updates, Flickr uploads and Yahoo Buzz stories, among other things.