Looking up a business contacts' information, finding driving directions and confirming flight times and reservations are easy when you're sitting at your computer.
These Internet-based tasks can be much more difficult when you're on the go. That's why an increasing number of Americans are using Yahoo Mobile Internet and other application suites with mobile broadband to access the Web from wherever they are.
In the fourth quarter of 2007, more than 2.1 million Americans used mobile broadband to access the Internet, reports a comScore study. That represents an increase of 154 percent from a year earlier. But that number, representing just 1 percent of U.S. Internet usage, is still far below mobile Internet use in other countries.
In India in 2007, for example, 31 million people used mobile Internet via phone handsets to read and reply to e-mail, download contact information and complete online transactions. That was three times as many people as accessed the Web from traditional computers. And in Japan, the number of Internet users accessing the Internet from cell phones (more than 70 million) has exceeded those reaching it from PCs since 2005.
Mobile broadband works through cellular telephone networks. Its users subscribe for access to connections made wirelessly through smartphones or laptop computers. Yahoo offers Yahoo Go as part of its Yahoo Mobile services to let smartphone users take Internet content and services along wherever they go.
Launched in 2006, the Yahoo Go application suite has gone through two major enhancements, released as Yahoo Go 2.0 in 2007 and Yahoo Go 3.0 in early 2008. Both connect to Yahoo e-mail, messaging, search and address book, as well as to news, sports scores, stock tickers and more through a direct connection to Yahoo's mobile portal. But Yahoo Go 3.0 adds an upgraded user interface, personalized home page and access to other companies' information and services through third-party widgets [source: Yahoo Mobile].
How does Yahoo Go work? What cell-phone models can you use Yahoo Go? What are some of the features of Yahoo Go? Let's start with how to get connected.
Yahoo Go with Widgets
Accessing Yahoo Go is easy. Start by seeing if the program comes on your cell phone. If not, see if it's downloadable for your model by checking the phone list at Yahoo Mobile. Yahoo Go 2.0 is currently available for more models than Yahoo Go 3.0.
Then be sure you have enough memory. Downloading Yahoo Go 3.0 requires 1 Megabyte (MB) of available memory -- plus mobile Internet settings and a data plan with a wireless network carrier. While Yahoo Go is free, you'll need to pay your carrier's charges for the time and data you use, particularly when downloading large data items like photos and mail attachments.
Now, you're ready to get started. Type get.go.yahoo.com in your phone's browser or, from a computer, have a link sent to your phone from Yahoo Mobile and enter your mobile number. When the download starts, Yahoo will check the make and model list to be sure which version works on your phone.
Here are some Yahoo Mobile services that you can connect to your mobile device with Yahoo Go, including widgets and others available only with Yahoo Go 3.0. A carousel of these icons appears on the screen of your mobile device.
- Yahoo Mail -- Provides access to your Yahoo inbox, and lets you compose and reply to e-mail, as well as delete and search it and report spam. It also allows you to send and receive attachments, and it coordinates addresses on the mobile device and in your Yahoo Address Book.
- Local & Maps -- Searches for and gives information, Web links and images for locations or businesses; includes city guide, goods and services listings, driving directions and traffic information.
- Calendar -- Shows events by day, week or agenda (most current first) and can be updated from the mobile device.
- Address Book -- Search for contacts, get driving directions and address messages. It can be updated from the mobile device.
- News, Sports, Finance and Entertainment -- Each with its own icon, these offer previews of top articles. Select "Open" to go to searches and RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds of other information you've selected, such as sports scores, stock quotes and movie reviews.
- Weather -- Gives at-a-glance weather details for a chosen location, including five-day forecast and allows search for weather anywhere.
- Flickr -- Use to manage, upload and share digital photos and other JEPG images.
- oneSearch -- Use to search online for information and images. Results show as a list of items grouped under headings such as photos, news articles and Web images.
- Widgets (Yahoo Go 3.0) -- With its Home Widget page, Yahoo Go 3.0 lets you choose among widgets, or mini-applications, from the services listed above. You also can visit the Widget Gallery (scroll left to the gears icon and hit "Open") to download widgets with other functions from outside companies such as MySpace, eBay and MTV News.
- oneConnect (Yahoo Go 3.0, coming mid-2008) -- Combines instant messaging and text messaging across services by accessing user's connected address books from networks like Facebook and MySpace.
- onePlace (Yahoo Go 3.0, coming mid-2008) -- Creates bookmarks to Web pages so Web content can be organized and accessed quickly.
Next, let's see how you can use oneSearch, one of Yahoo Go's most popular features, to find the information you need.
Yahoo oneSearch is the feature of Yahoo Go that lets you find information and images from the Internet. This Yahoo Mobile feature displays search results as an itemized list sorted by type with headings for the different results. For example, news articles would appear in a cluster under one heading, photos under another heading and Web sites under yet another.
Here's how to use this Yahoo Mobile Internet feature on your cell phone.
- Type your search terms in the box at the top of the Yahoo Mobile home page, and choose oneSearch. Depending on the terms you use, you can get results such as flight information, locations or images.
- The results will show up on the display as a list of headings or results. If you make a mistake in typing or no result is found, a heading may be titled 'Did you mean:" and include a list of alternatives to what you typed.
- Use skip to navigate quickly from heading to heading in the list. Click on the heading you want to open.
- Within the cluster under a heading, scroll up and down to highlight an item. Then choose "Select" to open the item. Some types of clusters, such as Web images, show their items horizontally, so you may need to scroll from side to side in addition to up and down to find the item you want.
- To return to the results list, click on "Back."
- If the word "More" appears as a link at the cluster's bottom, you can click on that link to open a larger list.
- To refine your search, scroll to the Search heading, provide more search terms, and choose oneSearch again. Some versions show a group of links for related searches to help you refine your search.
In some areas, you can combine oneSearch with Yahoo Local to get information about nearby businesses and places. Here's how to use this:
- Type your search term in the box at the top of the home page. Describe something you want to find nearby, like pizza, and choose oneSearch.
- Look in the search results for a heading labeled "Nearby" with a location after it. Below the heading, you'll find locations with addresses, phone numbers and other information.
- To search another location besides where you are, choose "Change location," provide another city name and choose "Change location" again.
Yahoo Go's oneSearch also offers Safe Search, which protects you from receiving links to explicit content and images. To turn Safe Search on, scroll to the end of a list of search results. Then choose "Safe Search is: Off" and following the instructions that appear.
Yahoo Go 3.0 offers new features that are still being developed. More widgets are being added, and functionality is being expanded to more models of cell phones. Two features expected to be available in mid-2008 are oneConnect and onePlace. Keep reading to learn more about them.
Yahoo oneConnect and Yahoo onePlace
Yahoo Go is evolving constantly in response to user needs and interests. Two new features, oneConnect and onePlace, expand the Yahoo Mobile Internet suite to make it easier for users to keep in touch with their contacts and to organize Web content for fast access.
Staying in touch should be easier with this open architecture system, which will integrate all communications methods -- instant messaging, text messaging, e-mail and social networks -- into a single system, together with a Yahoo address book that also brings together all contact information -- phone numbers, plus e-mail, text and IM addresses.
The oneConnect hub will allow IMing and text messaging, as well as the ability to start, track and archive conversations while mobile. Alerts will be provided whenever a new e-mail arrives, even if the user is in the middle of a conversation. And users will be able to access a wide range of messenging services such as Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk, AOL Instant Messenger and MSN Messenger.
With oneConnect, users will be able to see extensive real-time information about their contacts, such as avatars, profiles, online availability, recent messages and latest activity. Yahoo plans to support a variety of communities and social networks through oneConnect, including Bebo, Dopplr, Facebook, Flickr, Friendster, hi5, last.fm, LinkedIn, MySpace and Twitter.
This service brings organization to Web contact for easy access from mobile devices. After onePlace creates bookmarks to Web pages, users can organize the bookmarks into categories and then use a search engine to find needed information in them.
A traveler to Paris, for example, could create a collection of bookmarks for the trip including a weather site, city guides, restaurant reviews, flight schedules, walking maps, a French-English dictionary, and public transportation routes and schedules. Using onePlace, the traveler could access any of this information when needed during the trip. And the traveler also could subscribe to related RSS feeds and use onePlace's mobile RSS reader to stay up to date on information like flight changes.
There's plenty more to Yahoo Go -- Yahoo continues to add features. For more than we've provided here, the Yahoo Go help section provides information about specific features, answers to frequently asked questions and other advice to make Yahoo Go easier to use.
For lots more information about Yahoo Mobile Internet, Yahoo Go and related topics, check out the links on the next page.