Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail: Comparatif des 3 webmails géants (Episode 2/2)

24 May

Opening an email address on an online service has become commonplace in recent years. No offense to Internet Service Providers (ISPs), their boxes are often too limited or too inaccessible to be kept. That's where the Webmails come in!Gmail , Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail are the 3 most popular email services around the world. On their site, they allow to create and manage a complete email box , connected to different tools that make them more complete and more functional. But at the time of choice, where should you go? Who from Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo! Mail is the most suitable for your needs?

OnSoftware has created a box in each of these services and decrypts for you the features of these 3 giants to help you choose the best webmail . In the shoes of a new user ...
This second episode focuses on 3 aspects that are the management of contacts, options and settings and ancillary services. Do not forget to read our first episode about the opening of the account, the global look of the interface, the consultation and the writing of the emails , to have a global approach of these 3 services.

Contact Management

Gmail manages contacts very simply and especially very effectively. Just be aware that directory access is under the Google logo. Not easy at first. Every address you write to is stored in a separate directory (named Other Contacts ) so you do not get mixed up with your usual contacts. Because of this, the addresses that are used occasionally are kept in memory and appear as suggestions when you type new mail. Terribly practical!
It is possible to register a new contact in his phonebook from an email received from him, thanks to a button (too) discreet in the right column. This action is only accessible the first time you open the email. Otherwise, the contact is saved in " Other Contacts ".

The address book is visually very simple, in black and white, but the contact sheets are very complete and sometimes pre-filled if your contact uses Gmail and, by extension, Google+ . It is possible to add to each contact:
A photo
His name, surname and nickname
His function in his company
His email address (of course)
His or her phone numbers
His postal address
His birthday
The URL of his website
His relationship with you
His instant messenger address
A personalized note
The details of his Google+ account
Contacts can be sorted into one or more groups that you manually create. Gmail has, moreover, very valuable options are the import / export of the address book as a CSV file compatible with Google and Outlook, and vCard compatible with Apple. You have to go to the settings options to import contacts from other mail services like Yahoo and Hotmail. Stronger: Gmail locates and erases duplicates, and can restore the directory as it was some time ago, between 10 minutes and 29 days . Very handy if you have deleted addresses too quickly.
Last but not least, Android phone users can sync their mobile contacts and email contacts in the blink of an eye . All simply magnificent!

Hotmail Email
Hotmail does not give easy access to its address book since the link to get there is hidden at the bottom left of the interface or by hovering over the Hotmail nameat the top of the page. For each email received from a new contact, Hotmail offers to add it to his notebook with a link prominently next to his name .
If you ever send an email to a contact that is not in your phonebook, a special page appears after you have sent mail to ask if you want to add it. Practical, simple and well done. Note that contacts to which you have already sent an email do not appear in the address book automatically, but they appear as a suggestion when you type an address in a new mail .

The Address Book is visually very nice, with a presentation showing the name of the contacts in front of a manually determined photo or via the person's MSN profile if it is connected. An alphabet gives you quick access to the desired contact. Each contact card contains the following information:

A photo
His name, first name and pseudo
His birthday
His or her email addresses (of course)
His Windows Live ID
His or her phone numbers
His fax number
His postal address
The URL of his website
A personalized comment
His function in his company
His professional details
Contacts can be sorted into custom categories, to create at will. It is also possible to add a small star to highlight the favorites. Export is also possible from the general directory list in CSV format only. However, the import of contacts can be done from other profiles that you own through the Web, Facebook , LinkedIn , Gmail or Outlookfor example. Hotmail also allows you to erase any duplicates, merge identical contacts, and restore any deleted contact quickly or inadvertently within 30 days. Functional services and prominently.

Yahoo! Mail
Yahoo! Mail clearly shows where the contacts are with its tab architecture that is both clear and easy to handle. For each email received from a new contact, a "+" button simply adds it to its preferred list .
On the other hand, address recognition point with which you are already in contact. Too bad. These occasional contacts are also not automatically added to the address book. This action is however possible after having set it in the Yahoo options , as we will see in the next chapter. It does, however, require a personal approach.

The directory is rather sober and original , with a left column where names and addresses are visible, and a large part on the right reserved for important options. Curious layout that gives little importance to the contacts with regard to the settings. Contact cards are complete and allow filling in the following details of a contact:
His name, first name, middle name and alias
His or her email addresses (minimum union)
His Yahoo! Messenger , Windows Live , ICQ , GTalk , Skype , etc.
His or her phone and fax numbers
His function in his company
His postal address
The URL of his website
His birthday
A personalized note
As with competitors, contacts can be sorted into custom groups, called lists, which you fill in according to the profiles of your contacts. The import of contacts is made from several existing online services including Facebook , Gmail, Windows Live , La Poste, Outlook, etc. Very convenient. The export is done in several formats (CSV compatible with Outlook, ldif compatible with Thunderbird, vCard, Zip or VCF). Tracking duplicates is available to better remove them . A list of deleted contacts can be used to fix an early erase for one month.

Yahoo! Mail seems a little behind its competitors in this category, especially because of its contact sheets full months, the presentation of the address book poorly adapted and especially the lack of recognition of addresses already typed. Gmail finally pays for its austere interface and lack of visibility in the import / export of contact lists. In front, Hotmail wants to be friendly, complete and malleable. Hotmail benefit .

Options and Settings
Gmail settings are accessible in the upper right of any page of the mail service by clicking on the small wheel. The options are many, hang in there!

Gmail settings are divided into 11 categories: General, Labels, Accounts and Import, Filters, Forwarding and POP / IMAP, Chat, Web Clips, Labs, Inbox, Offline, Themes . Difficult to be exhaustive on all the functionalities which they contain, concentrate on the most important ones. On Gmail, you can:

Change the language of the interface
Change the number of messages (up to 100) and contacts (up to 250) per page
Enable keyboard shortcuts for common commands
Make a confirmation request to open attachments
Group or not emails by conversation (when they have the same object)
Set up multiple icons for email tracking
Add notifications in case of new message
Write and automatically add a signature
View the subject of the email with or without the beginning of the text that follows
Set up an absence manager
Show or hide some Google+ folders and circles
Import mail and contacts from other services (Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, AOL, etc.)
Change the name that is displayed when sending mail
Delegate your account to someone else with a permission system
Create filters to sort incoming messages automatically
Forward your messages from another email address
Save or not the internal chat message history
Add or add automatically suggested contacts
Participate in various Lab Beta tests to discover the future features of Gmail
Organize the order of displaying emails
Install Gmail Offline (valid only on Chrome )
Change the general theme

Hotmail is not stingy about setting options. Once you have located the button to access it (top right, the doors of the customization open in front of you.
6 main categories are available, with each of the main themes to discover and configure according to your desires and needs: Managing your account, Writing message, Reading message, Preventing spam, Customizing Hotmail, Customizing your contacts . Hotmail allows the following actions:

Modify your Windows Live profile
Manage parental permissions for child accounts
Add management of other email accounts
Transfer messages to another account (270 days before the account is deemed inactive)
Set up an absence manager
Add a custom signature to all your messages
Set another sending address for your answer
Manage sending attachments via SkyDrive
Change the architecture of the inbox
Group or not emails by conversations (when they have the same object)
Manage the permissiveness of spam blocking
Suggest or not the addresses with which we are already in contact
Change the language of the service
Change the theme of the interface
Set or not keyboard shortcuts for the most common actions
Define sort rules for some folders

Yahoo! Mail
The setting options of Yahoo! Mail are available via a button at the top left of the interface. The display looks like the list of contacts with a left column where you access the chapters of the options and a part of right with these options.

The options are divided into 3 main categories ( General, Signature, Auto Answer ) and 5 advanced categories ( Blocked Addresses, Disposable Addresses, Mail Accounts, Filters, POP Access ). Grosso Modo, here are the main setting options that give access Yahoo! Mail.
Change the number of emails on the screen (from 25 to 200)
Change how emails are displayed
View or not the read messages read and the delay to do this
To keep or not an email in the folder of sent mails
Adding a confirmation page for sending emails to unknown recipients
Schedule cleaning of the spam folder
Set up a signature for his emails
Getting started with an absence manager
Manage a list of addresses you do not want to receive the mail (blacklist)
Create a temporary e-mail address so as not to divulge its official address
Send and receive emails from an external address
Create filters to sort emails by folder
Yahoo! Mail has fewer options than his colleagues and would be better suited to a really new audience who wants a turnkey solution. Hotmail and Gmail pull themselves out with similar settings options. However, the solution of Google wins the piece in my eyes through its access to the Lab and future features. For example, the cancellation of an email sending within seconds, the preview of the message by hovering over it or the insertion of images directly into the email, which are available for testing in this moment. Gmail Advantage.

Gmail is an online email service but not only. He is fortunate to be connected to a host of Google Galaxie services to offer you a mountain of possibilities on a platter.

By creating an account on Gmail, you also create an account for the Google Reader RSS reader , the online storage service mixed with the Google Drive office suite (5 GB free), the calendar to share with friends Google Calendar , the Maps map service and many more. GTalk IM is integrated with the service. YouTube is also connected to Google by the same username and password . Plus, if you have an Android phone, syncing accounts and managing apps is very convenient on Google Play . I'm going and better.
This sprawling impression can have a scary side, but by setting its tools well, we find a great comfort of use.

Hotmail is the property of Microsoft and consequently, has some nice tools to put in parallel with its mailbox

Directly accessible in the mailbox, you access, in the top bar of the interface to the famous Windows Live Messenger, aka MSN online . Also available is the SkyDriveonline storage service , fully integrated with Hotmail, in which each new user has 7 GB free . You can store data, share it with contacts, and create official Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote documents with the Microsoft Office suite online . Majestic.

Yahoo! Mail
Yahoo! Mail is an email service perfectly integrated with the Yahoo search engine , as we explained previously. To retain his users, he also has some strengths in his sleeve.

The major asset of Yahoo! Mail is the possibility to integrate the Facebook Chat to the interface, just under the official chat Yahoo! Messenger. The American giant also incorporates an online agenda to share with friends and a notebook to remember his important ideas. Online storage point for Yahoo, but a partnership with YouSendIt that allows you to send email attachments voluminous . It's always that.
Let's face it, Yahoo is no match for the two behemoths Microsoft and Google in this category. Too limited, too shy, too withdrawn. Hotmail defends well with Skydrive, which offers more space than Google Drive, the official MSN messenger and the official Office suite online. But for us, the multiple services around Gmail, accessible with the same account, are a strong argument, especially when they fit into each other as well. Gmail Advantage.

General conclusion

It's hard to get a winner out of these three big pieces , Gmail , Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail, both services offer the same opportunities. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses that may suit many different types of audiences .

If we had to get out of the box, my heart would tend to Gmail, a robust, well-organized, customizable webmail that is at the heart of a blistering ecosystem where you can do almost anything. Hotmail is a tough competitor who behind his inviting interface would benefit from being more accessible to avoid looking for hidden links in the page. Finally Yahoo! Mail is the least complete of the three, but its friendly and easy-to-use interface may be suitable for a user who opens his first email box and does not want to get tangled up with lots of options that he will never use. .
Know one thing: it is the use you make of these services that will make their success with you. I imagine the absolute fans of Hotmail or Yahoo! Mail tell me that I am not objective, etc. This giant comparison only compares 3 services in which we have opened a brand new email box. Nothing will ever replace the day-to-day use and taming you do of everyday service.

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