SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Yahoo's free email service is becoming a bit more like Google's Gmail as part of its second makeover in less than a year.
The similarities to Gmail probably aren't coincidental. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer helped design some of Gmail's features while she was a top executive at Google Inc. Since its debut nearly a decade ago, Gmail has grown into the world's most popular email service.
Yahoo's redesigned email unveiled Tuesday includes a Gmail-like tool that will thread together emails related to specific topics so they appear as a succession of messages. The "conversation view" has become a widely used email feature since Gmail helped popularize the concept after it embraced the format in 2004.
Users can turn off Yahoo's new conversational tool if they want.
Another new feature will enable Yahoo's email users to decorate their inboxes with a selection of scenic pictures plucked from the company's photo-sharing service, Flickr. Gmail has been allowing its users to spruce up their inboxes with various themes for years.
When Yahoo's email users choose a picture as their backdrop, the same look will automatically appear on the mobile email applications that the company is modifying as part of the redesign. The updated apps are for Android devices, the iPhone and iPad and tablets running on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 8 operating system.
In another change, Yahoo is now promising each email account about 1,000 gigabytes of storage.