RealTime IT News

AOL Unwraps Mobile Apps

America Online today made a series of announcements that flesh out its AIM offering. AIM mobile is now set to include picture sending and sharing, a new mobile portal and new MapQuest services for mobile users.

The Instant Pictures service allows mobile as well as desktop AIM users to send pictures over to either mobile or desktop users. The picture service works with AOL's Multimedia Messaging System (MMS), as well as the Wireless Village server.

Raine Bergstrom, AOL's director of mobile messaging, told internetnews.com that the new service will allow camera phone users to make better use of their phones as well as be able to share pictures with their desktop and mobile buddies.

AOL has also now made its online "You've Got Pictures" picture-sharing service available for mobile users.

AOL is also leveraging its MapQuest assets with a pair of location-based services. The new MapQuest services include the GPS-enabled Find Me, which helps cell phone users identify their locations, as well as let others know where they are.

MapQuest Traffic provides mobile traffic data for 90 different U.S. metropolitan areas. AOL has also launched a new version of its mobile portal in both WAP 1 and the newer WAP2/XHTML-enabled format.

AOL's Moviefone and CityGuide services are also getting a mobile boost and are now available to mobile carriers.

AOL's mobile initiatives are all about expanding the audience of AIM services and users, as well as continuing to expand what Bergstrom perceives as AOL's front runner status in the mobile space.

"Over the last couple of years, AOL has done a tremendous job of getting AIM onto phones," Bergstrom said. "That success has been great, so now we're looking at how to take this across all of our other brands. These are other applications that are very useful for mobile handsets."

Bergstrom added that AIM Mobile is on anywhere from 50 percent to 75 percent of all phones shipped today and holds a competitive advantage over MSN and Yahoo, as well as picture-sharing services like Flickr.