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Yahoo Gets It Right: New Mobile Website, iPhone App Launch
At the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona in February Yahoo announced “Yahoo Mobile,” a more integrated presentation of Yahoo’s mobile assets and a successor to the ineffectual Yahoo Go. Mobile represents a more coherent integration of what what had been a fragmented collection of mobile properties: oneSearch, Go, oneConnect and onePlace.
This evening the new mobile website and iPhone app formally launched; and they represent a dramatic improvement over what came before. There’s also an iPhone version of Yahoo Messenger available this evening.
The image above is of the iPhone app, but the mobile web version is very similar in terms of look and feel and will allow for a consistent experience across devices — on a global basis. While the iPhone version leverages location, the mobile website allows users to set a default location thus equally providing localized content and results where appropriate.
Yahoo Mobile brings together Yahoo oneSearch with the full range of Yahoo properties, such as news, calendar, weather, movies, Flickr, sports, etc. Feeds from MyYahoo can easily be added as well. Voice-powered oneSearch [from Vlingo] is not yet a part of the new iPhone app; I expect it will be at some point.
A compelling feature of Yahoo Mobile beyond its elegant UI, is the fact that it provides access to third party sites and content including email and social networks (what Yahoo calls “social pulse” is intended to manage third party social networks in mobile). Yahoo Mobile is also highly customizable, allowing users to add feeds from any source. I especially like the look and feel of the Twitter integration.
Yahoo Mobile is conceived of as a start page for the entire mobile internet and many people will undoubtedly come to use it that way. (There are also ads here already and Yahoo’s various targeting capabilities as well.)
The properties are rolling out globally. It’s hard to exaggerate what an improvement Yahoo Mobile is over what previously existed. And while I haven’t been through every corner of the app and site — I’m sure there are imperfections — the degree to which Yahoo has really gotten it right with the new Yahoo Mobile is impressive.