Yahoo Makes Mail, Toolbar More Social

dell takes a slice at apple with super thin latitude z dellz closed

Following up on an initiative it announced almost a year ago, embattled Internet giant Yahoo has rolled out a new version of its widely-used Yahoo Mail service that offers a “smarter,” socially aware inbox that can automatically highlight communications from friends on social networking sites as well as prioritized their inbox and folders based on social connections. Yahoo has also introduced a new preview version of its Yahoo Toolbar that provides access to friend updates and updates from both Yahoo and third-party services as users surf the Web.

“Yahoo Mail users have told us that they want to be more productive when they get to their inbox and they want help breaking through the clutter and getting to the communications that matter most to them,” said Yahoo Mail VP John Kremer, in a statement. “We’ve created a smarter inbox experience to address the problem of inbox overload. We’re also embedding really useful applications directly into the inbox, which should help people be even more efficient.”

The new version of Yahoo Mail is another step in the company’s “Open Strategy” initiative, which is intended to open up two-way interaction between Yahoo’s services and applications and third-party services and tools…like social networking sites and media sharing services.

The new Welcome page for Yahoo Mail “surfaces”—e.g., picks out and highlights—email messages, updates, and information from people and services that Yahoo Mail user “care about most,” based on their connections to people and their online activity. With a user’s permission, third-party applications can also tap into users’ email, calendar, and contact info to deliver messages and information relevant to individual users.

Within Yahoo Mail, users can tap into Yahoo’s universal profile service and define which users and connections are most important to them; this information is then used by the inbox and folders to offer a prioritized view based on users’ social connections. Yahoo Mail also offers a way for third parties to offer applications that can live in Yahoo Mail’s left-hand navigation panel so services can integrate right into Yahoo Mail—Yahoo promises “top brands” will soon be available right from Yahoo Mail—Flickr, Flixster, WordPress, Family Journal, and Xoopit are available now.

The new Yahoo Mail inbox is available now to users in the U.S. and Australia; open applications are available to a limited number of U.S. users. Yahoo expects the features will be widely available in the first half of 2009. About 275 million people use Yahoo Mail; the company is rolling out changes slowly to ensure minimal disruption to its users.

The new Yahoo Toolbar will enable users to check new messages in Yahoo Mail and social networking services without having to navigate to the sites directly; it will also keep users abreast of updates from their socially-connected friends.

Product Review

Gate’s Smart Lock is locked and loaded but ultimately lacks important basics

In a world of video cameras and doorbells comes the Gate Smart Lock, a lock with a video camera embedded. It’s a great idea, but lacks some crucial functionality to make it a top-notch product.
Computing

Sending SMS messages from your PC is easier than you might think

Texting is a fact of life, but what to do when you're in the middle of something on your laptop or just don't have your phone handy? Here's how to send a text message from a computer, whether you prefer to use an email client or Windows 10.
Gaming

Here's how you can control your PS4 right from your phone

Sony built the PlayStation 4 with smartphone and mobile integration in mind. Take a look at our guide for connecting your smartphone or tablet to a PS4, so you can get the most out of the system while on the go.
Computing

Dodge the cryptojackers with the best torrent clients available today

Looking for the best torrent clients to help you share all of that wonderful legal content you own? Here's a list of our favorite torrent clients, all packed with great features while dodging malware and adverts.
Social Media

Federal investigation digs into Facebook’s data-sharing deals

Facebook confirmed it is cooperating with a federal criminal investigation. According to a report, the company is under investigation for sharing user data with smartphone and tablet companies.
Smart Home

Viral porch pirate videos freak people out, cause unrealistic concern

Viral porch pirate videos convince others crime is more prevalent than facts indicate. According to polls, even though FBI reports show property crime rates are at historic lows, more people worry about crime today than ever before.
Smart Home

Sony’s Aibo robot dog can now patrol your home for persons of interest

Sony released the all-new Aibo in the U.S. around nine months ago, and since then the robot dog has (hopefully) been melting owners' hearts with its cute looks and clever tricks. Now it has a new one up its sleeve.
Deals

Amazon slashes $77 off the iRobot Roomba 690 multisurface robot vacuum

This special offer comes just in time for you to get a head start on spring cleaning. The Roomba 690 robot vacuum sucks up dust, dirt and pet hair — all while you're away at the office.
Smart Home

Get sweaty with the best smart home fitness gadgets on the market

Are you looking for smart fitness devices that will really help your workouts, no matter where you like to exercise? These smart home gadgets are designed to help you analyze your workouts and keep track of how you are doing.
Smart Home

Our favorite coffee makers make flavorful cups of joe from the comforts of home

Whether you're looking for a simple coffee maker to get you through the morning or a high-end brewer that will impress your taste buds and your friends, you'll find some of the best coffee makers around on this list.
Cars

Vivint’s Car Guard keeps tabs on your vehicle when you’re not in it

A simple plug-in that you can place in just about any vehicle, Vivint's new Car Guard will automatically detect if your car is bumped, towed, or stolen and will alert you about it.
News

Fibaro smart devices are now compatible with the Samsung SmartThings hub

Samsung SmartThings now supports even more devices with the integration of Fibaro, a company known for its smart home sensors. Several Fibaro devices are already compatible, with more on the way.
Emerging Tech

Tombot is the hyper-realistic dog robot that puts Spot to shame

Forget Boston Dynamics’ Spot! When it comes to robot dogs, the folks behind a new Kickstarter campaign have plans to stake their claim as makers of man’s (and woman’s) newest best friend.
Deals

Walmart drops prices on air fryers from Ninja, Farberware, and more

Walmart dropped prices on best-selling air fryers from Ninja, Farberware, and La Gourmet. Interest in air fryers took off when home cooks realized the possibility for guilt-free fried food when you cook with very little to zero oil.