SAN FRANCISCO — Continuing its strong movement into mobile Internet services, Yahoo today announced that its Blueprint mobile development platform enables standalone applications.
The struggling Internet media company announced Blueprint in January at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show. It’s an open platform providing third-party developers with tools to create applications.
Originally, Blueprint could be used only to create mobile widgets to run within Yahoo Go. Now developers can also build and distribute applications for Java, Windows Mobile and Symbian devices.
The enhancements are available as “previews,” according to Marco Boerries, executive vice president for Yahoo’s Connected Life division. Presenting at the CTIA Wireless IT and Entertainment show in San Francisco, he told the conference audience that Blueprint builds on Yahoo’s five years of mobile experience.
“With one click, you can generate your own site under your domain with your infrastructure that supports thousands of devices,” he said. Yahoo offers Web services that allow for smoother installation of the widgets and apps, but publishers and developers can make them available for download wherever they choose. The company hopes to create a plug-in for Eclipse, the open source development platform, by the end of 2008.
Blueprint includes the ability for developers to include advertising in their applications, and Yahoo sees this as an opportunity to expand its ad revenue, according to Boerries. Blueprint and Yahoo’s ad-serving software are loosely coupled, meaning it’s easy to enable Yahoo ads but not essential.
Because the more page views Yahoo generates, the more money it can make, increasing the amount of services for mobile increases the potential income from advertising.
“Hopefully you will use it, but you don’t have to,” Boerries said.
“We believe by providing these essential tools and services, we’ll a
good connection with the developers, and there’s a chance they will
take a shot.”
Boerries also announced that a preview of oneConnect for iPhones
is now available. OneConnect, announced in February 2008, is a social address book that brings together friends from multiple social networks, including Flickr, MySpace, Twitter and YouTube. Yahoo plans to eventually make the app available for other devices and global markets.
He said Yahoo also has an iPhone implementation of Blueprint that
it uses internally. It’s in discussions with Apple to make this
available to outside developers.