If you're an existing user of Yahoo services and you have a compatible phone, you can't go wrong with the Yahoo Go for Mobile 2.0 application.
When Yahoo Go for Mobile went live a year ago, it promised to bring the full Yahoo suite of applications to the cell phone, and it certainly delivered. A year later, Yahoo has launched Yahoo Go for Mobile 2.0, with a completely redesigned look and innovative new features. The software includes a unique mobile search interface called oneSearch, and integration with the popular photo-sharing site Flickr. Also, Yahoo Go for Mobile 2.0 is supported on more than 175 devices, which is a far cry from the previous version that was only available for Nokia Series 60 phones. In fact, a few Motorola phones will have the Yahoo Go for Mobile 2.0 application preloaded on the device starting in 2007. To find out if you have a compatible phone, you can visit the Yahoo Go for Mobile 2.0 site, which is also where you can download the application for free. We tested the service with a Nokia 6126.
Downloading and installing the software couldn't be easier. All you need to do is select your carrier, and then your phone, from the site. Enter in your phone number, and you will then receive a text message with a link to the download. Follow the instructions, and you'll have the Yahoo Go application on your phone in no time. Once it's installed, you can access the Yahoo Go for Mobile 2.0 either from the phone's application menu or from its home screen. It'll prompt you for your Yahoo ID once, but then you'll never need to sign in again, as the application will simply remember your Yahoo ID each and every time you start it up. Along the bottom row of the starting screen is a unique carousel of widgets and icons that will provide you with immediate access to a variety of Yahoo services such as Yahoo Local and Maps, news, sports, finance, entertainment, weather, Flickr, and of course, Yahoo Mail.
The first page that pops up is the Yahoo! oneSearch page, with a large search entry field right on top, which we find especially convenient. Yahoo oneSearch works a little differently than the typical Yahoo search: instead of dumping a whole bunch of results on a single page that'll have you scrolling for minutes, it divides the results into different categories and presents them in a miniature, custom Web page. For example, when we searched for "sushi," it brought up a list of local four-star sushi restaurants within San Francisco, Flickr photos of sushi, and a couple of Web and news articles mentioning sushi. If we searched for "San Francisco," we were presented with a local city guide, a calendar of events, a map of the city, the local time, the current weather, local events, Flickr photos, and more. It is a very smart search feature that we only wish was available on more phones.
As was indicated above, one of the more useful features of Yahoo Go for Mobile 2.0 is its strong local features like city guides, local directory information, ratings and reviews of restaurants and shops, and more. The mobile Yahoo Maps interface also provides the ability to search directly for local businesses, with driving directions and real-time traffic updates. The content of Yahoo information sources-- like news, sports, finance, and entertainment--are fairly self-explanatory, but we do want to add that we liked the scrolling news ticker along the bottom of each information page.
If you have a Yahoo Mail account, you'll love how well it's integrated into the Yahoo Go software. It's treated exactly like a desktop e-mail program, which means you can receive and send e-mail in real time. You can even search your entire in-box for a specific message if you wish. Finally, the Flickr widget within Yahoo Go will let you upload and tag images from your camera's phone directly to your Flickr account. Image search within Flickr works very well and you can add and read comments on your photos as well as your contacts' photos. We especially liked the scrolling ticker along the bottom of the Flickr widget that displays all the recent comments to your photos.
Performance depends entirely on the network's speed. We were using the Nokia 6126 on Cingular's 3G network, so it was nice and speedy. The only lag was when we started up the application as it was logging us in. Otherwise, Web pages loaded in mere seconds, and images took about 10 seconds to load as well.
It's certainly possible to access these same Yahoo services on a regular mobile Web browser, but with the Yahoo Go application, you get instant access and there is virtually no download time. Regular mobile browsers also don't allow you to take advantage of Yahoo's unique oneSearch and Local/Maps features, and die-hard Yahoo fans will definitely appreciate the instant access to Yahoo services like Yahoo Mail and Flickr. We highly recommend giving it a try.