A new app on Yahoo Mail called Yahoo Account Key, facilitates password- free login to user’s account.
Users of Yahoo Mail can now sign in to their inbox with nothing but a user name and a smartphone. Yahoo said, its new password-free login, which lets users authenticate any device using their main smartphone, will improve security and eliminate one of the biggest hassles facing Web users on a daily basis.
The company also introduced a new version of its email service for the Web and mobile phones featuring a more robust tool for searching messages and contacts. For the first time, Yahoo Mail users can also use the service to access messages across their AOL, Hotmail and Microsoft Outlook accounts.
Starting this week, users who sign up for a Yahoo “account key,” will receive a push notification on their smartphone when they try to log in to their email account from a desktop. The mobile notification will tell them the location of the computer requesting access to their account. By clicking yes, they will give that computer password-free access to the account in perpetuity or until Yahoo detects any unusual behavior that might indicate a different user.
The feature goes beyond the so-called two-factor authentication offered by competitors including Google Inc., which sends a code to user’s mobile phones they then have to enter into their Web browser.
“Nobody in the industry is doing this,” Jeffre Bonforte, VP Communications,Yahoo, said. He added, “We are the first ones to roll out an account key.”
By refreshing its apps, Yahoo hopes to regain some of the ground it has lost to Google, whose Gmail overtook all other Web mail services years ago. Google and Yahoo both had about 96 million U.S. email users in August 2013, according to comScore. In the two years since then, Google has grown 40% to 135 million, while Yahoo lost 26% to 71 million U.S. users by August 2015.