There are two ways for services to get themselves onto mobile devices. They either talk users into accessing limited functionality by browsing to their website, or they get their software (usually Java based) onto the phone somehow. And since the carriers still control every aspect of the mobile experience, getting that software onto a phone without their consent is difficult.
Google has experimented with it, as has Yahoo through their Go application. Get it on your phone somehow, and you can browse through various widgets – travel, weather, news, etc. Some consumers have gone to the trouble of downloading Google, Yahoo and others’ software on their phone. But now, third parties won’t have to jump over this hurdle. They can simply piggyback on Yahoo’s already installed software.
They’re relaunching the platform tomorrow. In addition to generic “improved performance,” for the first time third parties will be able to add their own software to the platform. It’s an open environment, meaning anyone can create a widget for Yahoo Go. Users will find them on Yahoo’s mobile site and can add them to their phone.
A software development kit for developers will be made available in the coming weeks, Yahoo says. Until then, users can add pre-made widgets from eBay, MySpace and MTV.
The Yahoo Mobile team has been chatting about this off record for almost a year now. We first expected to see it launch last Spring, but it never came. But they’ve finally got it out the door.
The Yahoo Mobile home page is also being relaunched tomorrow.