Move over Google, Yahoo! is looking to compete for prime real estate on the iPhone's home screen. Today at the Mobile World Congress 2009 show in Barcelona Spain, Yahoo! announced the launch of its new Yahoo! Mobile
service, which will be available as an application and Web service, for not just the iPhone, but for a slew of different smartphone platforms. "We believe the new Yahoo! Mobile will transform the way millions of mobile users around the world will interact with the Internet... Yahoo! Mobile will enable users to create their own Internet starting point on their mobile device so they can better discover, connect to and stay informed about the people and things that are important to them."
-- Marco Boerries, executive vice president, Yahoo! Inc.
Much as the current Google iPhone app offers a suite of functions and services, Yahoo! Mobile will provide similar functionality. Yahoo! Mobile will include the Yahoo! oneSearch
search engine, which will allow "users to launch searches by simply speaking
" on voice-enabled devices (this won't work on the first generation iPod touch, which lacks a microphone or audio input). Yahoo! oneConnect
will include e-mail access to several e-mail providers (not just Yahoo! e-mail), Yahoo! Address Book
, Yahoo! Calendar
, Yahoo! Messenger
, and Pulse
--which provides access to a number of social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter. Of course, the app will also include Yahoo! News
, with the ability to customize content from a variety of sources, such as news feeds, weather, stocks, and RSS feeds--Yahoo! calls this feature Yahoo! onePlace
. Yahoo! Mobile will also include a location-aware Map
that can provide directions and points-of-interest. The application will also come with the Opera Mini 4.1
browser integrated into it. Finally, users will be able to add Widgets
to the Yahoo! Mobile application.
The Yahoo! Mobile iPhone application is expected to be available around "late march
." For non-iPhone users, a mobile-Web-based version of the service will also be available around this same time. The mobile Web version should work with devices that run WebKit-based browsers (such as "many Nokia Series 60 and Android devices
"), Windows Mobile devices, the BlackBerry Bold and Storm, as well as devices running Opera Mini 4.x. The mobile-Web-based version of Yahoo! Mobile, however, will not support voice searching, or include Maps or Widgets--and it (obviously) will not include the Opera browser. A version of the Yahoo! Mobile application is expected be available for additional smartphone models, such as "from RIM, Windows Mobile, Nokia S60 and 40, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Motorola
," in "late May
". Users interested in using the service now can sign up for the beta program with their supported devices here