If you have followed the news today or opened your Yahoo! email inbox on your computer or in a mobile application, you may have noticed that things have changed quite a bit, and mostly for the better.
Yahoo! Mail turned 16 years today and as part of that, new features were launched on the site that mostly benefit free mail users of the service.
Among the new features that free Yahoo! Mail users can enjoy now, are access to features that were previously only available to Mail Plus users. This includes the use of disposable email addresses, enhanced mail filters, and automatic message forwarding.
That's however no the only change announced today. All Yahoo! Mail users get 1 Terabyte of free storage (1000 Gigabyte) which should last for a very long time even when email is heavily used by a user. It is interesting to note though that storage space has been unlimited previously on Yahoo!, at least in some countries, which technically makes this a limitation.
If you have the feeling that the 1 Terabyte storage figure seems familiar you are right. Yahoo! not long ago raised the storage limit on Flickr to 1 Terabyte as well and introduced other changes to the photo hosting community service as well.
Note: Yahoo! is rolling out the feature in steps. Currently, only English (interface) users from the US, Canada, UK, Philippines, Malaysia, India, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa get the new desktop experience, with other countries and languages promised to follow soon. And even if your system is set to the interface language, you may not have access to all features yet.
If you are a free Yahoo! Mail user, you can access the new features that are now available to you in the following way:
You can create temporary email addresses that automatically forward messages to your account. You need to create a base name first, and once that is out of the way, use any email address in the form email@example.com.
In the example on the screenshot above, the basename has been set to ghackstest. I can now use email addresses such as firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
If you do not need the disposable email address anymore, delete it to stop receiving emails to it.
The other improved or new features are listed here as well, so that you can access them. I cannot really say what changed in regards to the filtering options. I do know that Mail Plus users had a higher filter limit, 200, while free users were limited to 100 filters. While I cannot verify if that changed or not, it looks like the only change here.
The only other explanation that I have for this is that my filtering options have not been updated yet to reflect the new changes.
What Yahoo does not mention is that Pop3 access is now available as well. While I cannot say if it was enabled previously for free users, I know for a fact that it was limited in the past to paying Yahoo Mail users.
The last change introduces rich themes taken from Flickr on Yahoo Mail. I was not able to test that feature at the time of writing, because it has not been enabled yet for my Yahoo Mail account.
Themes previously changed the header on the Yahoo Mail website. The new rich themes modify the whole look and feel of the website instead.
What about Yahoo! Mail Plus?
Yahoo Mail Plus has been renamed to Ad Free Mail today. With several premium features now available to free users, what do Mail Plus users get that justifies paying for the service?
The only two benefits that Yahoo Ad Free Mail users get are that their account won't expire as long as they are subscribers, and that they won't be exposed to graphical ads in the Yahoo Mail account.
All previous features, disposable email addresses, filters and Pop&Forwarding, are now also available to free Yahoo Mail users.
The price for a Ad Free Mail subscription remains at $19.99 per year for existing users. Yahoo! has increased the price for new subscribers to $49.99 per year though.
Yahoo Mail Plus users can cancel their accounts at any time here.
Additional information about the changes, including information about mobile client changes, are available on the official Yahoo blog.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.