Portals and web directories designed to be viewed on mobile phones.
The latest version of 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.
Yahoo is limits access to the new portal browsers that are able to display it well.That includes the iPhone, Android, Symbian, BlackBerry, Opera Mini, Opera Mobile 9.5 and Samsung Instinctl, older devices get the legacy version (bottom inmage). It includes Yahoo's great news and sports coverage, the web, mobile web and image search components of oneSearch, driving directions and access to your Flickr photos, Yahoo email, address book and calendar and IM.
Yahoo has had a mobile presence since 1999. At first the service was aimed at PDA's. But by early 2000 Yahoo had a WAP site which not only had news, sports, finance sections, weather, White and Yellow Pages search and driving directions, but also allowed users access to their mail accounts, calendar, address book, Yahoo messenger and Yahoo auctions.
Early on, Yahoo had the ability to sync your Yahoo calendar and address book with Outlook, Notes, ACT or Palm Desktop. This meant that with WAP your phone could give you access to your business appointments and contacts. Simultaneously with the WAP portal launch, Yahoo released Mobile Alerts, a rules based engine that would send a text message to your phone when an email arrived, a meeting was starting soon or a stock price passed a trigger amount. This combination of integrated was very advanced stuff for it's time. 1999 and 2000 were the heady days of early WAP enthusiasm. However, user acceptance of WAP failed to meet expectations as the high data costs, slow response and limited content of early WAP did not live up to the initial hype. Nonetheless, Yahoo continued to maintain and support their WAP services but did not make any major enhancements for four years.
Late in 2004, Yahoo released a completely redesigned mobile portal. The new site was WAP2, although the original WAP1 version is still available and works as well as ever. The new portal features all the content of the WAP1 version enhanced with small photos accompanying some of the news stories plus two new features Yahoo Mobile Search and a RSS reader.
In July, 2005 Yahoo launched SMS search. You text it a search string and it sends back the results in another SMS. On the mobile web side Yahoo added Local and Shopping (review) searches in 2005.
Yahoo redesigned their mobile home page again in August 2006. The new design was more attractive but no longer had accesskeys, reducing usability. Read more about that Yahoo redesign on my blog.
Yahoo's oneSearch for mobile came out in 2007. It combines results from Yahoo's Web, Mobile Web, Shopping Local, News and image searches on a single page . You can also set filters to return only one type of results, like shopping or images.
3-Lib Mobile Web Guide
Steve Litchfield's (The Phones Show host and a frequent contributor to All About Symbian) hand selected directory of mobile web sites. Not a huge collection and by Steve's admission "somewhat UK-centric" but its got at least one of every type of site you need. All the sites listed are high quality and relatively low-bandwidth
The basic mobile version of the personalized home page site Netvibes. Customize you Netvibes mobile page with calendar, weather, notes, email (Y!, gMail, AOL Mail, Hotmail or POP/IMAP) and RSS or Atom feeds. For more on Netvines see Unwired View's review,
Personal portal site, Netvibes has launched optimized "Touch Web" versions of the site for the iPhone, iPad and Android. Rather than using a single URL and browser detection to optimizing the site to each platform, Netvibes provides separate URLs;
for each platform. The appearance, UI and content of all three variants appears identical although there are undoubtedly some behind the screen optimizations for each.
According to NetVibes, the sites deliver a seamless experience across desktop and mobile with real time synchronization of read/unread items across platforms
Source: NetVibes Blog
America Online's mobile site. AOL seems to making more of it's content available to non-members. Currently, this includes news, weather, sports, business, Yellow and White Pages as well as links to other AOL properties like Mapquest, DigitalCity and MovieFone, The news, sports and business sections are quite good with full length articles. Usability of the WML site is optimized for Openwave browsers and is awkward on others. The xhtml (wap2) site was launched August 2005 is is quite good, and adds search to the available options. AOL searches for full web sites rather than mobile sites and reformats the results to make them usable on WAP 2.0 phones Mobile and Shopping searches are also offered.
No longer a true portal, the Google mobile homepage is now a list of links to Google's mobile services and apps including Gmail, Maps, Google+, News, Reader, YouTube, etc.
Wappstart (for Web App Start) is an attractive new mobile portal listing a good selection of well chosen mobile web apps.Listings include a description and screenshot. Registered users can create a personal "Wapplist" of their favorite web apps and can leave public comments on individual apps.
An impressive mobile portal from South Africa built largely on mashups with mainstream and white label services.
It includes; mobile specific web search with news and real time results, trending topics and item sharing, canned SMS messages, news, sports and weather feeds, GetJar downloads, Wikipedia search, a WapMasters section, Yahoo map search, chat rooms and mobile web directory.
InSyt has its own social network called "My Insyt" with profiles, status updates, blogs, inbox, comments, friends and followers.
Search results, etc. can be shared on Twitter, or Facebook using Delivr, email or SMS. Detects touch devices an delivers a touch optimized version to them.
KeyToss is highly customizable. without even registering, users can change their location and favorite teams, choose which mobile links and search engines are displayed and add content from a list of 40 preselected RSS feeds. These changes are saved with a cookie. Registered users can make further customizations like adding pages and choosing from over 600 feeds on KeyToss' full web site. You can customize how each feed is displayed including whether to display summaries or just headlines, the number of items to show and whether external content should be transcoded. The choice of feeds does seems to be limited to the 600 preselected ones. Although KeyToss says "Is there a website or blog that you'd like to see? If it has an RSS or Atom news feed, you can add it yourself", I could not find any way to add arbitrary feeds.Something that makes KeyToss unique among mobile portals is that it acts as a location broker. When you access some sites through the KeyToss portal, your current location is passed to the site. It's not GPS, you do have to set your location manually in KeyToss, and it's only grandular down to the city name for international locations or zip code for US ones, but is a real timesaver to not have to enter your location on Google Local, Yelp or jWire's WiFi finder. I'd like to see KeyToss integrate this functionality with Yahoo's FireEagle, which when combined with Navizon, can pass GPS or cell tower location through an API. More...
Oh! Mobile is a fast growing mobile portal with over 1000 hand picked links for quality (does not accept adult or gaming sites) mobile web sites. Listings are organized into hierarchical categories and each includes a brief description of the site . Oh! Mobile is quite similar in size and purpose to WapReview/YesWap but with a different mix of sites.
Rediff is the most popular Indian based web portal with around five million monthly pageviews and 65 million users of it's free web based email service, Rediffmail. It's a comprehensive portal rivaling Yahoo and MSN in scope and features.
Rediff's mobile version at mobile.rediff.com offers Indian and world news, business, sports and movie news, detailed stock quotes, horoscopes, a "Get Ahead" section featuring personal improvement articles, job search, lowest airfare search and direct links to the mobile versions of Rediffmail and Rediff's BOL IM service.
There is also a Rediff branded search engine which unfortunately seems to return exclusively transcoded desktop content. This happens even with sites like YouTube and Wap Review which normally use browser detection to deliver their own mobile formatted content. The videos are broken on the transcoded YouTube pages too.
Rediff mobile is a good general news and information site that should be popular with Rediff portal, Rediffmail and BOL users. There are better choices for mobile search, however.
Off-deck mobile web portal from Motricity,a big provider of white-label mobile portals and ring tone, game, application downloads to mobile network operators including AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, T-mobile, Bell Mobility, Tracfone, Virgin U.K., KPN, and Vodafone.
The Motricity portal has news, sports, weather, business, movie reviews, movie show times, a theater locator and horoscopes.
Disclaimer - this is not a review. YesWap.com is a mobile site I created to showcase what I consider to be the best of the mobile web. It wouldn't be honest to review my own site but I really want to tell you about it.
YesWap appears to be a simple wap portal, nothing but links in a hierarchical menu. The menu structure is exactly the same as that of WapReview.com. So if your browsing WapReview reading the reviews, and you see a site you'd like to view on your phone it should be easy to find on YesWap.com. If it's under Technology | Mobile Phones in the Review it will be under Technology | Mobile Phones on YesWap.
YesWap supports both older WAP1 wml phones and the newer WAP2 xhtml basic and xhtml-mp devices. The WAP2 version of the site (first image) is spruced up with a little color but otherwise looks and works like the WAP1 site (second image). You should automatically get the right version for your device when you connect to http://yeswap.com. The links to mobile sites you see in the YesWap menu are filtered based on the capabilities of your phone. If a site in the directory has both a WAP1 and a WAP2 version you should get a link to the version your phone can handle. Obviously this is done using browser detection. As I've said before, no browser detection is perfect so I've provided a couple of urls that let you override the browser detection if your device is not being served optimal markup using the main yeswap.com site.
If you go to wml.yeswap.com/, You will always see the WAP1 version of yeswap. You'll get links to sites that support WAP1. Some of these sites themselves use browser detection to serve wml or xhtml. I don't have any control over these linked sites but 95% of the time they do the right thing and send you wml. Another feature of the WAP1 version of Yeswap is that it has a built in (x)html to wml transcoder. If you navigate to a WAP2 only site like the International Herald Tribune, Variety or Slashdot, it will automatically be converted to wml. The transcoder also kicks in if you are on the main yeswap.com site and you phone is detected as being wml only. You will lose images and colored text and backgrounds with the transcoder but web forms and cookies are supported.
If you don't ever want to see WAP1 content, use htm.yeswap.com. The site itself will be rendered in handheld-friendly html which is perfect for PDA's and Sidekicks and also works on virtually all WAP2 devices (second image). In this mode all wml-only sites will be filtered out of the menus. I haven't gotten around to writing a wml to html transcoder and as wml-only sites are getting less and less common I probably never will.
I hope you enjoy Yeswap.com. If it doesn't work for you send me a comment and I'll try to fix it. I probably won't be able to help you if one of the linked sites won't load on your phone. Some sites aren't 100% standards compliant and certain phones are very picky or even outright buggy.
Mobile portal and social network Fonet now features Google Buzz integration. Fonet users can view their Buzz timeline and post Buzzes without leaving Fonet.This is the first third party mobile web based Buzz client I've seen.
Buzz is just the latest in a long list of online services and social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Friendfeed, Flickr, YouTube, Picasa, Google Calendar and Docs, Delicious.com and Tripit that Fonet integrates with.
Fonet also includes:
A customizable mobile portal with mobile web directory and the ability to add your own links and RSS feeds.
The Fonet social network with profile pages, friends list, messaging, groups and blogs
A personal information manager (PIM) with online phonebook, to do list, contact manager and cloud storage.
An easy to use categorized directory of mobile friendly websites. Most links work with all phones. Special sections for iPhone webapps and Blackberry and Palm/PDA specific sites.
Links to thousands of audio and video streams are the main attraction at this portal which also includes news and sports headlines, live stocks, chatbox, weather and front ends to multiple mobile search engines, Google translate and other services.
Good link directory with an emphasis on business and travel sites.
New mobile link directory and portal with a large catalog of quality sites including a number that I were new to me.
Huge (over 800 sites) portal of mobile friendly sites. Browse by categories, and site language. Registered users can add sites and create a personal links page. The site tracks the hits each link gets so you can sort by popularity. The screenshot shows the top 15 English sites by popularity. I was surprised at the popularity of financial sites. MobileTopSoft also has a page of Windows Mobile streaming video sites mostly news and video from around the world.
Free mobile fun stuff including jokes, quizes, tarot card reference, txt talk dictionary, horoscopes, wallpapers, and a small mobile site directory
Another large mobile portal. m4u is an extensive list of mobile links grouped in broad categories like "Handy", "Tools" and "Popular". You can also search by name or browse a more specific set of categories (click "Links" to find the category list). The site is available in English and Dutch and carries links in both languages. Changing the interface language doesn't seem to filter the link list to include only sites in the selected language, an advantage only if you are bilingual. The site also has an iPhone version at http://m4u.mobi/iPhone. The iPhone version worked fine in S60WebKit and Opera Mini but other than a larger font it didn't seem to offer any extra features. You are supposed to be able to create your own list of favorite sites but this feature did not seem to work. After selecting "Edit #Favs" an "F" to add the lin to your favorites is supposed to appear next to each listing but I never saw the the "F" link.
Another small directory of PDA friendly links.
ATL Mobile Web Directory
A mobile directory with over 1600 links, organized by category and searchable.
Startup GetFrog.com, is trying to fix both the usability and discovery issues. Clearly aimed at users who are new to the mobile web, Frog is a personal mobile home page that features extremely simple navigation. The front page, which is practically the only page, is a 3 x 3 icon grid - familiar to mobile users as it's the internal menu layout on most phones. Each icon is a link to a mobile site... (more)
Comcast, the largest US cable television provider and a major fixed line broadband provider now has a mobile site for it's Xfinity premium brand. Main features of Comcast Mobile are access to Comcast Web Mail for subscribers and a fairly extensive selection News stories including Sports, Finance, Technology, Entertainment, Television and Politics sections.
Mowser.com was created by Russell Beattie in 2007 and was aquired by dotMobi in 2008. It combined search, a transcoder. a directory of over 2000 feeds, chat room, forum and a mobile site directory. The service has been looking neglected lately, the search engine no longer seems to return results for anything and broken links and server side errors abound.
Back in the day, it was an impressive mobile portal. The transcoder worked well. The search results were high quality, The search combined Microsoft Live results with small 150 px wide images (from Snap.com) of each search hit long before Google and Bing started including thumbnails with search results. The mobile directory was very complete and was supplemented by the huge categorized feed directory which essentially creates another 2000 mobile sites web sites.
Mobile transcoders were not popular with webmasters and content providers but Mowser is attempted to change that by giving site owners unprecedented control over how their transcoded site looks in Mouser. By adding a few meta tags to your site you could:
- Have Mowser insert YOUR AdMob mobile ads (with your AdMob site ID) into transcoded sites so you can get some revenue from the transcoded pages.
- Control page appearance by adding a media="handheld" stylesheet which Mowser will use when transcoding your site.
- Have Google and possibly other search engines direct mobile users to the Mowser transcooded version of your site.
Mowser transcoder detected a true mobile site it shows it unaltered - something I that Google and Skweezer's transcoders didn't do at that time.
I was very impressed with Mowser five years ago. But the time for transcoders has passed and it looks like dotMobi is letting Mowser quietly fade into non-functionality and obscurity.
Optimum.net is a web portal for customers of New York City cable TV and Internet access company Cablevision. To mobile edition of Optimum has traffic, weather, TV schedules and move reviews and show times for the New York metropolitan area and allows subscribers access to their email.
News, Sports , Entertainment News and Downloads
British Site. Excellent selection of quality links.
Local and International news weather, sports, finance and entertainment from the portal of Big Pond Australia's largest ISP.
iGloo (igloo.mobi) A mobile site directory for now - but iGloo promises a new mobile social community "soon".
6-Feb-2013: Site is down
The other new site is from Salvador Gonzalez' whose SitiosWAP, is one of the most popular Spanish language mobile web portals. Salvador has launched an English language edition of SitiosWA.
The focus of SitiosWAP is a directory aimed primarily at the Hispanic audience, with mobile sites selected on the basis of the quality of their information and services. There are extensive listings of sites from and about each of the Latin American countries and Spain as well as links to Spanish editons of major US and International mobile news, sports, travel and infromation sites
The new English site has an English user interface and lists and links to sites in both English and Spanish. It seems like a good destination for someone who is bilingual but whose Spanish is not quite so strong as their English and for anyone learning Spanish.
6-Feb-2013: Site is down