Beginning at the end of March, the company plans to roll out a new test version of its mobile Web start page, along with new smartphone applications that consolidate several of Yahoo’s mobile services into one application.
Applications for Apple’s iPhone and other smartphones will let users search the Web, and keep an eye on Web mail accounts and widgetized data. The iPhone application, which is slated to be available in late March, will roll up Yahoo’s OneSearch and OnePlace services on top of the previously available OneConnect.
Smartphone users get the added benefit of voice-powered search and an integrated Opera Mini browser in a new application that will be out at the end of May.
The move is a big step forward for Yahoo, which over the past few years has segmented its mobile users with a flurry of applications that accomplished various tasks with little or no crossover. For instance, the company put out an iPhone version of OneConnect, but no other mobile services were offered for the device.
Likewise, on smartphones, users would have to install multiple applications to access all the available services. The version coming in March simply puts them all in one container.
One platform that was left off the list is Google’s Android. According to SearchEngineLand, which got in touch with Yahoo about its absence, there is indeed an Android application on the way, but it will be released “later” this year, presumably after the smartphone version.
Josh Lowensohn is an associate editor for Webware.com, CNET’s blog about cool and otherwise useful Web applications and services. If you’ve found a site you’d like profiled, shoot him an e-mail. E-mail Josh.