Enter Yahoo Go for Mobile. It's the mobile version of Yahoo Go, Yahoo's suite of products and services--such as Mail, Calendar, and Address book--packaged in a way that's more easily accessible. The PC version consists of a dashboard on your desktop, the TV version connects your television to the Internet, and the mobile version is made up of a single Yahoo Go application on your cell phone. The last is an especially compelling idea, because most consumers have a cell phone--not a PC or a television--with them at all times.
In order to get Yahoo Go for Mobile, you have to load the application to your phone, and not any cell phone will do. So far, Yahoo Go for Mobile supports only Nokia Series 60 phones using the Symbian OS and only if they are on Cingular; we tested the service using a Nokia 6682. First, you download it to your PC from the Yahoo Go Web site, then you can transfer it to your phone either through Bluetooth, a memory card, or a USB cable (via the Nokia PC Suite software). Further installation instructions are provided with the download.
Once installed, Yahoo Go for Mobile appears as an application in your phone's menu. Once you enter your Yahoo ID, the first page you'll encounter is a nicely designed portal page that provides immediate access to a wide range of Yahoo services and information sources: Yahoo Mail, Messenger, Address Book, Photos, movie times, games, Calendar, tasks, news, sports, finance, ring tones (from the Yahoo Music store), weather, driving directions, and of course, Search. And the best part is you need to sign in only once--after the initial sign-on, all Yahoo services on your phone are bound to your Yahoo ID.
There are a number of clever integrations between Yahoo Go for Mobile and your cell phone. First, you can easily sync all your phone's contacts and appointments to your Yahoo Address Book and Calendar. As for Yahoo Photos, in addition to being able to organize your photos and albums from your phone, you can automatically upload photos taken from your phone to your Yahoo Photos gallery. Finally, you can purchase and download ring tones from Yahoo's Music Store via Cingular's network.
Using the Yahoo Go services on your mobile phone is very similar to using it on a PC. Just select the service, and you'll be led to the appropriate page. For example, with Mail, you'll be led to your in-box, where you can then read and reply to your mail as usual. You can even use Yahoo Search in three different ways: search the Web, search for images, or search just in your local area. The interface for each service is very intuitive, and there is little to no learning curve involved as long as you already know how to use your phone.
As far as performance goes, it entirely depends on the network's speed. Because we were using Cingular's 2.5G EDGE network, it wasn't too slow, averaging about 10 seconds for a page to load, but it would be nice to see something such as this available on phones using Cingular's new 3G UMTS service for faster downloads.
We were definitely pleased with the Yahoo Go for Mobile package, especially since it's free and easy to download and use. Our only issues with it are that it's available only with the Nokia Series 60 phones, and you pretty much have to hand your life over to Yahoo in order to take full advantage of the service. But if you already have such a phone and you're already a loyal Yahoo user, then this is a great addition to your mobile experience.