In a statement provided by a company spokesman, however, My.com explained a bit further. "Our approach is good for security," the company stated. "In addition to our no password strategy, using our proprietary protocol and https instead of IMAP, POP and SMTP protocols lets us bring stronger security for our users. Desktop email clients that use these IMAP, POP and SMTP store user passwords, and are therefore prone to virus attacks. Avoiding IMAP, POP and SMTP ensures that @my.com accounts always stay safe from such attacks."
A My.com representative also said that the My.com servers are housed in the Netherlands, not inside Russian borders.
The security issue also came to the fore after Pavel Durov, the chief executive of Russian social networking giant VKontakte, was publicly fired on Monday. In his farewell post, Durov noted that the company was now in the hands of Igor Sechin, a pro-Putin supporter, and Alisher Usmanov, the other Mail.ru co-founder and reportedly Russia's richest man. According to Grishin, however, Usmanov is simply a shareholder and has no influence on the operation of VKontakte.
MyMail: one big happy family of email
According to Distimo, in March MyMail became the top alternative email app on iOS. Distimo's current rankings show it within the top 100 free iOS apps, averaging about 60 or so. It's also available on Google Play, although not on Windows Phone at the moment.
The app works as advertised, although the massive amount of email it can display is a bit daunting. I tried it out on a Samsung Galaxy Note 3. After downloading and installing the app, MyMail asked for my phone number, which I manually entered. The service then sent a four-digit authentication SMS to my phone, which it automatically read. At that point, MyMail asked me to input my username and password for email services like Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL, and others.
MyMail organizes email attractively, displaying the information on three main screens, which you can access by swiping left and right. On the far left, the main screen shows your email accounts, the inbox (with the number of unread emails) and several arbitrary folders that it creates for archiving email. The middle screen displays the email itself. Tapping it slides right to read the email. You can swipe each email to bring up a small list of icons to mark it as unread, put it in a folder, mark it for later action, or discard it. If you tap the "thumbs-down" icon, MyMail treats it as spam and blocks the sender from your inbox.
Although MyMail treats each account separately, all of your email is otherwise lumped together. Absent are the various tabs that Outlook and Gmail use to organize your email. I'd also prefer an interface where I could swipe away email, rather than the process MyMail uses. And MyChat didn't seem to play well with my Note at all, as I couldn't load any contacts.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.