Mobio, which we’ve covered previously, is launching the public beta of its mobile application platform today. They’re pitching themselves as a “lifestyle platform” to consumers, where you can access all kinds of data on the go, such as restaurants, weather, and flight schedules. However, to developers, Mobio is a mashup platform, enabling developers to weave together all kinds of information into a single application.
The Mobio platform is not open to all developers yet, but they have already developed 50 of their own free applications. One example is their movie time search engine, where you can find the closest movie theater, map directions to it, and buy your tickets from within your phone. See some demos here.
The platform is a fairly light J2ME application, 220kb, when compared with beefier mobile applications from Yahoo, 770kb, and works on some non-smartphones like the Razor (here’s a full list of supported phones). Blackberry support coming soon. Mobio applications will push most of processing weight on to Mobio’s servers, requiring only tiny (sometimes 2kb) downloads to add new applications. The installation of these applications will be handled by Mobio. Users will be able to manage these Mobio applications on a web account.
Mobio is backed by $9 million from InterWest Partners and Storm Ventures. They recently did a deal with 9 Indian carriers, which gave some of their applications placement on about 70% of Indian phones. In the U.S, Mobio is off deck. Getting on deck position can sometimes cost upwards of $1 million.
MobileCrunch has covered several other mobile content platforms such as Bluepulse, Widset, and ZenZui. Blupulse is a mobile social networking application that works on nearly any phone, and which we raved about previously. Widset is a disappointing RSS reader from Nokia and ZenZui is a Microsoft-backed attempt to widgetize webpages to ease web navigation.