AOL launching a slew of new mobile services at CTIA
AOL's got some new services they're showing off at CTIA today.
AOL may have been one of the first mainstream services to really make its way onto most consumer telephones (with AIM), but the rest of its mobile services haven't exactly been keeping pace with Google and Yahoo's efforts. Today they're trying to change that with several mobile incarnations of AOL services that have been custom tailored for entry level handsets and smart phones running Windows Mobile.
For users with phones that aren't running a "smart" operating system there are two services that have been specially tailored for you. The first is a new WAP portal that serves up news, AOL and AIM Mail, Mapquest, weather, and various other sections of AOL's front page in byte-sized pieces. The other is a new SMS short code version of AIM that lets user sign on and message buddies using their SMS text messages--similar to what carriers offer with built-in AIM apps, sans the actual program. To try it out on your own phone, send a text message to 'AIMAIM' (246246).
Windows Mobile users are getting a slightly better end of the deal with a new application that's a lot like Yahoo's Go service. It's called MyMobile, and it's home to a handful of AOL's services like search, Moviefone, Mapquest, and mail. The app will remember your history, so you can speed up searches on the go with your zipcode or address. Users of other Palm and Symbian phones have had something similar for some time now in AOL's software store. AOL intends to release the app "by the end of the year" and make it free with integrated advertisements.
Also of note is a new widget for WHERE users for tracking where your AIM buddies are online. This requires a GPS-enabled phone, and works using Mapquest to let you post your location without having to look up or type out an address--a little bit like Sprint, Boost Mobile (with Loopt) and Helio have done.
AOL is also officially launching their Winamp Remote mobile service, which lets you access music and videos from your Winamp library while on the go. The service is powered by Orb, which is capable of doing similar things with their standalone app on most mobile handsets and modern-day gaming consoles.
The most exciting bit of all of these is the new Windows Mobile app, since it will take some of the work out of using these services outside the confines of your mobile browser. I'm also a fan of Winamp Remote since Orb is one of the more user friendly personal streaming services out there, yet it's highly customizable for advanced users. I look forward to seeing it integrated into other services.