Yahoo drops support for native iOS Mail app, says it’s ‘insecure’
Looks like Yahoo has taken a big decision, but hasn’t officially announced it yet. Let’s start with a bit of background. For months now (we saw reports as old as from October 2017), Yahoo Mail users have been complaining sync issues with the service while accessing it from within the native Apple iOS Mail app. But the problems still stands unresolved.
The issue is being reported/discussed by Yahoo Mail-iOS users on almost every relevant forum online. There are several threads discussing the problem on Apple’s official forum, with one of the oldest ones currently on its 9th page and almost 2000 users saying they have the same problem (the number on the ‘I have this question too’ button we are referring to here).
The thread is marked as solved, with the solution post shockingly not even remotely mentioning a solution. Ironically, the post is from an affected user who is blaming Apple for the problem. Here’s the post in question:
I’ve been having this issue for the last two iOS updates so I find it hard to believe it’s a Yahoo! issue. Something Apple changes seems to be causing issues with the ability to get email. Not Happy!
Moving on, there are many threads discussing the problem on the official Yahoo forums as well, and one of them is into its 36th page now, with users still complaining. It’s also marked as SOLVED, with the solution post being from an official Yahoo staff member Jim_Jam who says they are investigating the problem.
Our engineers are investigating. We do recommend checking your IMAP settings and in some cases, you would need to enable an app specific password.
At least that’s meaningful compared to the solution post in the Apple’s thread we discussed earlier. The Yahoo post in question is dated December 19 – dates are important here, we’ll tell you later why.
A couple of days later – on December 21 – the same Yahoo staff member Jim_Jam wrote a dedicated post in the ‘known issues’ section, effectively re-iterating the same ‘being worked on’ status.
We’ve received reports that emails aren’t showing up or being re-downloaded in the Mail app on iPhone and iPad. Our engineering team is currently working to resolve this issue as soon as possible
What’s worth observing here is that there’s another issue they acknowledged in addition to the sync problem: emails are being re-downloaded.
As per the practice Yahoo follows, every thread in their ‘known issues’ section is updated once the problem is resolved, but there’s no update in this case so far, meaning these issues are yet to be fixed.
Then last week (January 17), Yahoo’s mobile community manager Marilyn Jaynes provided another heads-up, but only on the email re-download issue, saying:
We are aware of this issue and Yahoo Mail and Apple are actively working to resolve it
Curiously missing was an update on the problem that majority of users are facing: new emails – few in some cases, while all in other – not showing up in inbox of the native iOS Mail app. Also, what seemed odd to us, Jaynes’ post was a bit heavy on selling the official Yahoo Mail for iOS app to users.
We recommend you download the free Yahoo Mail app for the iOS client, available in the App Store. When using the Yahoo Mail app, you will not experience the same issue.
The plot thickened when we went through the company’s replies to users highlighting the sync problem on Twitter. To put it plainly, replies from Yahoo customer reps slowly went up from being polite to borderline rude. Take a look:
You're very welcome. And for the best experience, be sure to try the Yahoo Mail App for iOS 🙂 If something goes wrong, we're able to provide more troubleshooting assistance for the Yahoo Mail App compared to the native iOS client.
— Yahoo Customer Care (@YahooCare) December 12, 2017
Sorry that you're not happy with the official Yahoo Mail App. Unfortunately, we do not presently have any est. time of resolution. If you have removed and re-added your account to the iOS client and it still does not work, I would suggest reaching out to Apple for support.
— Yahoo Customer Care (@YahooCare) December 19, 2017
We recommend always accessing your account via https://t.co/aEgKfHhA0o or our Yahoo Mail app. We cannot guarantee the functionality of a third party client such as the iOS app.
— Yahoo Customer Care (@YahooCare) December 21, 2017
Notice the dates: First tweet is from 12 Dec, second is from 19 Dec, and third one is from 22 Dec.
Now question arises, why is this change in attitude? Was there some information that slowly propagated down the Yahoo hierarchy, and took a week or so to reach the company’s social media reps?
Well, some more digging, and we think we found the answer. An affected user shared a screenshot of their 1:1 chat with Apple Support, where the Apple rep made it clear that Yahoo has ended its support for the native Mail app on Apple’s iOS. As for the reason, they revealed the company now wants iOS users to use the official Yahoo Mail app instead.
The tweet in which the above screenshot was shared is dated December 13. Suddenly everything seems to be adding up, isn’t it? You can now see a pattern in the way events unfolded – decision taken before December mid, reached company reps later that month, and the strategy seems to be to keep the problem unresolved, while pushing users to opt the official Yahoo Mail app.
As if that wasn’t enough, there’s one more thing we want to highlight. While the reply from Apple’s gives a feeling that Yahoo took the decision as it just wants users to use their official Yahoo Mail for iOS app, some users have a different story to tell.
On an Apple forum thread discussing the sync issue, an affected user revealed that as part of troubleshooting the problem, they removed/deleted the Yahoo Mail account from the iOS Mail app and then upon re-adding it manually, they received an email from Yahoo that effectively said iOS’ Mail app is insecure.
Your account is currently not enabled to sign in from apps that do not meet modern security standards (ex. Older versions of mail and calendar apps such as Outlook). As a result, we prevented a sign in to your Yahoo account.
We strongly recommend that you switch to Yahoo’s apps such as Yahoo Mail on desktop and mobile and remove your account from all other less secure apps.
If you still want to use an app that uses less secure sign in, go to https://login.yahoo.com/account/security#other-apps and turn on “Allow apps that use less secure sign in”. This is not recommended and may leave your account more vulnerable to compromise. To learn more, please visit our help page: https://help.yahoo.com/kb/SLN27791.html.”
To conclude, Yahoo seems to have dropped support for the native iOS Mail app because of security reasons, while Apple is indirectly saying Yahoo just wants users to go for their official Yahoo Mail for iOS app. So fingers are being pointed, but not publicly. And what about users you ask?
“Do hell with them.” “We always strive to provide best possible experience.” 😉
Stay connected with us on Twitter (@PiunikaWeb) to hear about all related developments as and when they occur