It’s been proven numerous times that passwords are pretty unreliable, although this is mainly because people like to pick crappy passwords. That’s why companies like Google have been working on password alternatives that are both more secure and more convenient, but Yahoo has become one of the first companies to actually abandon passwords entirely with its Yahoo Mail app.
“We’re basically going to kill passwords,” Yahoo’s Fernando Delgado said during a recent press briefing about the new Yahoo mail apps. But a novel way to bypass passwords is just one of the features found on Yahoo’s new iOS and Android apps, which arrive on the still widely used Yahoo Mail’s 18th birthday. The apps, as well as the Yahoo Mail Web interface, can now handle multiple email accounts. Yahoo Account Key uses push notifications to verify you rather than making you type in a password. As Delgado put it, the current username and password standard has become too complex and doesn’t actually protect the user. Yahoo’s system reminds me of Duo Mobile, where you simply OK a notification on your phone to get logged into a secure site. Yahoo will roll out Account Key security to Mail first, and then to its other Web services later. Like a lot of recent mobile mail clients, the Yahoo Mail app now lets you swipe right and left to delete or mark an email as read. The inbox shows photo avatars for users pulled either connected Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook accounts, or from typography images from Flickr.