So it looks like the next time you log in to your Yahoo Mail account from a smartphone, you might not need your password…
Instead, you might just need “Account Key.”
In the month that Yahoo Mail turns 18, users of Yahoo Mail can now check their email using nothing more than their user name and a smartphone. The new password free login allows users to verify any device they want to check their email on, by authenticating login details using their main smartphone.
While Yahoo are initially pushing the service primarily at its Apple and Android users, the desktop experience is also available for U.S. users currently, and is set for a global release later this year.
Yahoo’s senior vice president of product management, Dylan Casey, said this in the blog post announcing Account Key: “Account Key streamlines the sign-in process with a secure, elegant and easy-to-use interface that makes access as easy as tapping a button,”
Yahoo have made the move in an effort to improve security and help eliminate one of the big hassles that internet users face every day. The Account Key feature, comes as part of the biggest shakeup to happen to Yahoo Mail in years. Unveiling a raft of new features in the blog post, the company said Yahoo Mail’s redesign “will take user convenience and security to the next level.”
Time will tell if Account Key will actually solve the problems with passwords, including the fact that people have a tendency to use the same password to logon to several different systems and devices. Yahoo’s Casey said that “Passwords are usually simple to hack and easy to forget….Account Key uses push notifications to provide a fast and secure way for you to access your Yahoo accounts from your smartphone. It frees you from memorizing complicated passwords, making signing-in to your Yahoo Mail app easy as tapping a button.”
The unveiling of Account Key is the latest new feature to be rolled out by Yahoo this year. While it is not currently certain, it appears that Account Key will replace Yahoo‘s On Demand SMS password system released in March. The SMS service allowed users to log into their Yahoo accounts using one time passwords.
Yahoo’s new look apps and increased security features is part of the larger plan to try and regain some of the ground it has lost to Google over the last five years or so.
In August 2013, both Google and Yahoo both had about 96 million U.S. email users each. In the two years that have followed, Google grew its user base by another 40% to over 135 million users, while Yahoo’s base dropped by over a quarter in the same time period.