For Yahoo, the future doesn’t involve passwords.  Starting today, Yahoo Mail users can log into email without one – using features on mobile phones.  Are passwords dead forever?

Front page news:

Yahoo breaks the email mold with newly updated app for Yahoo Mail users, which means never having to login with a password to get access to email ever again.

“Passwords are difficult to remember and secondary sign-in verification is inconvenient and confusing,” said Dylan Casey, vice president of product management at Yahoo.

Available on iOS and Android, the deeply reimagined Yahoo Mail app comes with many creative features including the ability to automatically insert photos (not requiring you to add photos as attachments), smart groups and a speedier interface.  Also enhanced features including must-have connectivity to other provider emails including accounts from Hotmail, AOL and soon-to-come Gmail on mobile and desktop.

But Account Key is what is catching buzz.  With it, you get incredibly easy access to your email on your smartphone. Basically how it works is this: Sign up for Account Key. Then when you try to access Yahoo Mail, you get an alert sent to your phone, rather than a request for a password.  Then you simply press “yes” or “no” to get access to your email.  If your phone gets  lost or stolen, users can verify identities through an email or a text message sent to alternative accounts and numbers. Check out the clip on below on all the new Yahoo Mail app features. And be sure to log onto Huffington Post Live on Friday, October 16 at 10.15am ET to watch Shibani talk about the pros and cons of a password-less future. Log on here!

Reading between the headlines:

For Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s chief, this is a renewed effort to get users to put Yahoo at the center of their daily lives.  As the number 2 email provider behind Gmail, Yahoo still has an incredible stronghold with hundreds of millions of users. Though it has a dwindling brand presence, it is smart to leverage a strong user base to get traffic to other Yahoo properties like Yahoo Finance and Entertainment. This is a nice attempt for Yahoo to move the needle and create some buzz and usher in a new era that eliminates the need for passwords and increases security for users.

What’s next:

Expect similar moves by other email services like Hotmail and Gmail, as everyone looks for a better way to secure email outside of easily-hackable passwords.  Yahoo says it will eliminate passwords entirely for all of its apps, one less thing for each of us to worry about.

For Yahoo Mail users, you can get access to the new Yahoo Mail mobile app on iOS today.  Android users will get access over the next few weeks.