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RealTime IT News

AOL Unveils Mobile Storefront

America Online continued to make moves into the mobile space today with the launch of a Web-based storefront and an updated mobile version of the AOL.com portal.

The site, AOLMobile.com, lets users access the company's Web functions from handsets, smartphones and other PDAs. The customizable site can be adjusted to present features and services available for their phone model and service provider combination, according to the company.

"The new AOLMobile.com site is all about personalization and simplification," Rajive Mathur, vice president of AOLMobile.com, said in a statement. "It's also a 'mobile home base' where users can easily manage their wireless service accounts."

The suite of mobile search services that automatically adapt results pages to mobile screens and give mobile user access to the AOL search service has become a priority for the media conglomerate.

It allows users to search the Web, comparison shop for products and access local listings from anywhere they find a connection, the company said.

The latest mobile move by AOL comes as Web companies look to increase business by providing personalized services that can be accessed away from users personal computers. It also comes two months after AOL began pushing into the portal space with an ad-supported portal model hoping to increase revenue from the growing online advertising market.

In efforts to support the continued wireless push, last week AOL purchased wireless technology firm Wildseed, and the previous week purchased wireless technology firm Wildseed.

Only one week before AOL purchased online storage company Xdrive.

The new service, which has been available in beta form for several weeks, is being delivered with wireless services and device manufacturer InPhonic.

"We designed it so that our members, registered users and Web users alike, can easily learn about the phones, services, features and accessories that are available and best suited to meet their needs," Mathur said.

Other features of the mobile portal include search engines and the AOL Pictures photo album service for all users, as well as access to AOL Mail for AOL subscribers.

Later, the portal is expected to provide access to the free AIM Mail service.