Yahoo Expands Its Makeover to the iPhone
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Yahoo didn't wait long after the launch of its redesigned home page last week to make mobile news along the same lines.
Today the Web giant unveiled a new mobile homepage that's available now on the iPhone's Safari browser, with other mobile platforms to follow "soon," the company said.
The news comes at a time of booming popularity of mobile devices and Yahoo's fierce competition with Google to win the Web. Google is the dominant search player, but Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) is one of the most visited sites on the Internet and has already staked out a strong mobile presence.
According to recent Comscore (NASDAQ: SCOR) data, Yahoo reaches almost one out of every two mobile Internet users in the U.S. and has about 34 million unique users per month.
The company is also the subject of speculation that it might soon announce a search deal with Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) that would bring Yahoo hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and cost savings.
The redesigned mobile home page features three tabs: Today, for news and content; My Favorites; and All Sites, which includes more than a dozen "mobile-optimized" Yahoo services like Yahoo Local, Sports, Finance and omg!, a celebrity news site.
My Favorites can include third-party sites like eBay, Facebook or Gmail, which fits with Yahoo's push to be the start page for Internet users even if it means putting competitive sites front and center.
Yahoo also launched a PC-to-mobile sync feature that gives users the option to have changes they make to their desktop Yahoo home page reflected on their mobile Yahoo page.
"For example, if you add an RSS feed for say InternetNews.com, you'll be asked if you also want that feed for your mobile device," a Yahoo spokesperson explained. "And the next time you fire up the mobile device, that change will show up automatically."
PC-to-mobile sync has already been enabled for 400 devices across 17 countries, Yahoo said, and is available now regardless of whether the newer mobile home page is enabled on the device.
"Longer term, we want it to be a seamless experience each way, so if you make a change on your mobile device, you can also have it appear on the desktop. For now, it's just one way, from desktop to mobile," the spokesperson told InternetNews.com. "We don't do it automatically because, for example, you may track a hundred stocks on your desktop and only want to track a few on your mobile device."
Yahoo said it's also improved its mobile search by including a drop down menu that filters searches by specific categories including Web, Image, Local, News, Wikipedia and Products.