Today at CTIA, Yahoo announced the availability of the new Yahoo Mobile. It comes in the form of an iPhone app and as a mobile web site at new.m.yahoo.com. I've been playing with the web based version a bit and it's pretty nice already and should be great once a few opening day bugs are ironed out.
Yahoo Mobile is a very flexible and open web portal which allows you to add virtually any sort of content, including third party content like Gmail, Hotmail, AOL Mail, Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, YouTube, Bebo, any RSS feed and just about every Yahoo service that exists including weather, over a dozen different Yahoo News categories, stock quotes and movie showtimes.
The Twitter integration is great, definitely the prettiest mobile web interface to Twitter yet. It's a little disconcerting though that links in tweets are plain text. However, if you click a tweet it opens up the author's timeline in Twitter Mobile where you can follow the link. The extra click doesn't add any value, why not just let me follow the link in the first place?
The Gmail interface works kind of the same way. The Yahoo Mobile homepage shows you how many unread emails you have and when you click on the status it opens Gmail's own mobile web interface.
Overall, I really like the new Yahoo Mobile, it's easily the most comprehensive and attractive personalized mobile home page I've seen yet. As I mentioned there are a few bugs at this point that mar the experience a bit. In particular some RSS feeds are not current, Flickr has been "Gathering updates.." for about half an hour on an account with a dozen photos. And Yahoo News is "Currently Unavailable" if I'm logged in but magically appears when I log out.
Another thing Yahoo is doing that I hate is limiting access to the new portal to only certain browsers. It looks like only users of the iPhone, G1, Opera Mini, Opera Mobile 9.5, Samsung Instinct and most but not all S60 3rd edition and Windows Mobile devices can actually see the new portal, everyone else gets "Your phone does not (yet) support the new Yahoo! homepage". So much for progressive degradation and the web as the universal mobile platform.
Hopefully both the bugs and the browser balkanization are just first day issues. Yahoo Mobile is otherwise very promising and I'm looking forward to using it on any phone. Source: GoMo News
Filed in: Wap Review Directory - Portals
Ratings: Content Usability
Ready.mobi Score: 3 "Fair"
Mobile Link: new.m.yahoo.com