Yahoo expands its mobile reach

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Yahoo is showing at this week's CTIA show that it is ready to take advantage of the emerging mobile space to stay in the game with Google. On September 10 Yahoo released two new mobile offerings: one for developers and one that allows any user to integrate their contacts across e-mail, social network and mobile channels.

“Developing for mobile is a very difficult thing,” said Joe Hayashi, senior director of product marketing at Yahoo. “Our goal is to help the whole industry take advantage of the large number of users that are on the mobile phone with and make it easier for them to create great mobile experiences.”

Yahoo OneConnect, is an address book in which users can integrate all of their contacts from the phone as well as e-mail and social networks into one application, and communicate through the mobile phone. The product addresses the issue of convergence as consumers are looking for a convenient way to manage multiple accounts. Yahoo OneConnect is currently only available on Apple's iPhone, but will roll out on other devices later in the year.

The second new tool allows developers to create mobile Web sites across the Yahoo Blueprint site. Developers can now use Yahoo Blueprint to build standalone applications for Java, Windows Mobile and Symbian devices, as well as create mobile Web sites accessible through any HTML or XHTML mobile browser.

A similar platform that is already available has proven effective for both mobile developers and advertisers. Developers can already create mobile widgets that run within Yahoo's flagship mobile application, Yahoo Go. Yahoo's mobile fantasy football widget was written in this program and includes advertising from major brands, including Chex Mix.

Yahoo OneSearch, Yahoo's mobile flagship search page, became the new default search engine on AT&T MEdia Net earlier this week.

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