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Yahoo Mobile site gets iPhone overhaul, syncing

Yahoo unveils a new iPhone-optimized design for the iPhone's Safari browser that factors in a new feature: Web-syncing.

iPhone optimized-redesign
Yahoo's new iPhone-optimized Web site. CNET/Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt

Yahoo has been busy. Last week, it announced a new customizable home page you can personalize by adding favorite Yahoo services and social-networking modules. On Tuesday, Yahoo unveiled a new iPhone-optimized design for the iPhone's Safari browser that invites you to sync the modules between the PC and your iPhone.

Here's how it works on the desktop. When you navigate to Yahoo.com from your browser, you'll be able to click a link at the top of the page to try out the redesigned home page. You'll then move to m.www.yahoo.com (which is distinct from m.yahoo.com on the desktop). From there, you'll see a much sparser design that is flanked on the left by a list of modules--Favorites--that you can add and activate. These include Yahoo finance, eBay, Facebook, MySpace, Movies, Maps, Messenger, Weather, and so on. Hovering over the module displays a summary and some points for interaction. Clicking more deeply may short-cut you to a new Yahoo page.

You'll be able to sync changes to these favorites on the iPhone's newly optimized site, and vice versa. The second of three tabs on m.yahoo.com from iPhone's Safari (it redirects to new.m.yahoo.com) is where your preferred news categories and social networks manifest on the Web app. After logging in, you'll be able to see, edit, and add new favorites.

In addition to acquiring syncing smarts, Yahoo's mobile iPhone site has undergone a dramatic redesign. Once a richly populated, linear site, the new home page on iPhone hosts just three tabs--Today, which features headline news and a search field, My Favorites (described above), and All Sites, which provides shortcuts to a plethora of Yahoo services.

Interestingly, Yahoo Mobile the Web app is posed to at least temporarily cannibalize Yahoo Mobile the iPhone app, a richer native application that also endeavors to make accessible Yahoo's reams of services and information. While Yahoo's iPhone app also has a Favorites section (called My Interests on the app), it does not currently sync with the desktop Web app.

A Yahoo spokesperson told CNET that the PC-to-mobile sync functionality is planned for native iPhone app in the future.

Both Yahoo's new iPhone-optimized Web site and its new favorites-focused Web app operate now in the following 17 countries: U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina.