Last week Yahoo launched its new homepage, which allows users to customize the site and improves overall usability. The centerpiece of the recently launched Yahoo homepage is My Favorites, the new customizable left column that allows users to add third party content and make it more of a personal “dashboard.” The Yahoo mobile browser homepage, the most recent version of which was launched in Q1, already featured a heavy dose of personalization. However, Yahoo has updated the mobile homepage to bring it more into alignment with the new PC homepage.
The updated mobile homepage, which offers streamlining and simplification of the Q1 browser site, has three tabs: Today, My Favorites and All Sites. Today and All Sites are Yahoo centric, while My Favorites offers customization similar to the PC homepage. The one catch is that all your personal tabs/buttons, set up in the left column on the PC site, are not yet transferred to the mobile site when you’re signed in. On the iPhone version of the updated homepage, location is now available to the browser so content (and ads) are tailored to user location.
In many respects the new mobile browser site is better than Yahoo’s iPhone app, which offers a generally parallel experience. It’s useful as a feed and email reader and gives you the ability to read and update social network status on multiple sites simultaneously. The All Sites tab provides quick access to useful Yahoo content and properties on the go (e.g., Local, Weather, Movies). Search is prominently featured on the homepage and as a selection among the list on All Sites. Search Assist is also incorporated here for the first time.
One issue: I believe the site changed my default search engine on the Safari browser (upper right box) to Yahoo when I used it. I wasn’t paying close attention but noticed it was on Yahoo at one point this morning. I had never switched it from Google. I switched the default engine back to Google to see if launching the Yahoo iPhone app or using the mobile site would change it to Yahoo and it did not. So I’m not clear on what happened exactly and whether Yahoo is doing anything to change the default search settings.
That aside, after several false starts with Go and too many different mobile properties, Yahoo is now executing well in mobile. The mobile browser site continues to improve and with this latest round of changes has become perhaps the most complete and useful destination on the mobile internet.
Post script: I just heard from Yahoo that users are prompted to change their default search engine and must affirmatively accept. This must have followed the request to access my location, which I did authorize. So I guess I just pushed “yes” without closely reading the prompt.