If the latest rumours are true, you'll soon be able to ask a new Yahoo app to dig through your emails and find things like flight tickets.
Mobile search and personal assistant products, including Siri, Google Now, and Cortana, aren't new things anymore, but that isn't preventing Yahoo from giving them a whirl. According to Business Insider, Yahoo is developing a similar app that will likely be ad-supported and is capable of leveraging Yahoo's 20 years worth of email accounts in order to serve up relevant and useful information.
The app - Index - is being lead by Jeff Bonforte and Peter Monaco, both of which came to Yahoo from Xobni. Bonforte and Monaco reportedly believe Yahoo has an advantage over Google, Apple, and Microsoft because Yahoo has been around for more than two decades, whereas Google just started dabbling with email/Gmail 10 years ago. They think the ability to surface old data is exciting.
A user might've once emailed with a friend in 1999 about how much they love a baseball team, for instance, and Index will be able to see that as well as serve up information related to that baseball team nowadays. Also, if you have tickets for an upcoming flight through JFK airport in New York, and then search for JFK using Index, the app will know you meant the airport and not the president.
On an earnings call yesterday, CEO Marissa Mayer, who used to work at Google, confirmed Yahoo was interested in "search in the mobile sector, what happens when you involve context", and "what happens when you involve personal information, from things like email." She also mentioned Siri, Cortana, and Google Now, which seems to imply Yahoo is indeed developing a rival product.
We're just wondering if consumers would genuinely be interested in another Google Now-like service that taps into emails from forever ago and whether they'd honestly use such a thing over default personal assistants already on their mobile devices.
The Verge said Yahoo is trying to have a pilot version of Index ready by the second quarter of this year.