David Garrett, newsfactor.com
There was a time when mobile phones just made phone calls -- or, to be
more precise, tried to make phone calls, forcing their owners to cope
with dropped signals, bad static, and all kinds of on-the-road
woes. But times do change.
Today's mobile phones can handle two and three calls at a time, not to
mention high-speed downloads of movie clips or a search for the
closest dry cleaner. And let's not forget about photos, e-books, and
the music from Beyonce to Bach.
With this week's announcement of a new version of Yahoo Go for Mobile,
the search-engine giant, already vying for pole position with Google,
hopes to establish itself as the leader in the mobile Web-browsing
Yahoo Go for Mobile 2.0 is still in beta form and open to owners of
Motorola's RAZR maxx V6 and V3xx phones only -- two models that
attract Web-savvy, connected users who see no reason not to read
e-mail wherever they are.
But Yahoo plans to expand the download to more than 70 handsets in
2007, along with preinstallations from major phone makers and
distribution deals with cellular networks that span the globe from
Malaysia to Sweden to Ireland, with half a dozen stops in between.
"Yahoo intends to be the number one mobile Internet player globally,"
said Marco Boerries, Yahoo's senior vice president of connected life, in
a published statement.
Indeed, "connected life" is a good moniker for Yahoo's plans. Yahoo Go
2.0 gives users no small number of mobile features to connect them to
information they need.
First up is Yahoo's new oneSearch, which intuits the information that
users want, ferrets it out of database systems and Web sites, then
presents it in synopsis form, as opposed to handing users a set of Web
links for them to delve into themselves.
If it's baseball season and you're a Yankees fan, oneSearch will take
the team's name then return the scores from its most recent game,
along with game schedules, team rosters, photos, local results, and so
on, according to Yahoo.
Yahoo Go's Local & Maps feature works much like Google Maps, searching
phone books for business listings around the country. If you want a
good slice of Chicago pizza in Los Angeles or the nearest California
Pizza Kitchen in Chicago, each mobile service will find it for you --
along with user reviews, ratings, and directions.
Yahoo's service also features many of the old standards that users now
see as par for the course from mobile information vendors, including
e-mail, news, weather, stock quotes, and so forth. But Yahoo makes
each feature -- which it calls a "widget" -- revolve around a "command
center" that gives users the chance to scavenge for more information,
including RSS feeds from Web sites, blogs, and news services.
Last, Yahoo Go 2.0 offers a photo sharing widget that lets users
upload photos from their phones' on-board cameras to Flickr, the photo
sharing site that has become a linchpin of the social networking
movement known as Web 2.0.
Indeed, sites like Flickr, MySpace (the teen and tween fiefdom for
making friends and building personal Web sites), and Digg (where users
stock the site with news stories they like) all can be accessed from
mobile phones, some with special features that make mobile viewing
The bottom line? "Out of the office" or "out of the house" no longer
mean "out of touch." As data becomes a common houseguest on cell phone
handsets, life, to use Yahoo's word, is growing more connected by the
Copyright 2007 NewsFactor Network, Inc.
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